Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Truly Remarkable, Surreptitious Transfer of Wealth

In May, Congressman Alan Grayson questioned the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent and spent by the Federal Reserve. Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman said she had no idea where the money went. Two months later, Congressman Grayson asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the same questions. Here is the exact exchange:

Grayson: “So who got the money?”

Bernanke: “Financial institutions in Europe and other countries.”

Grayson: “Which ones?”

Bernanke: “I don’t know.”

Grayson: “Half a trillion dollars and you don’t know who got the money?”

In an interview with Congressman Grayson, Damien Hoffman followed up on the topic:

Damien: Congressman, while we are waiting for a Fed audit, does anyone know what the Fed has been doing given that they have not fulfilled their government delegated duties as listed on the Federal Reserve website?

Congressman Grayson: They are performing a truly remarkable, surreptitious transfer of wealth from public to private hands. They are taking their ability to print money and shore up failed banks. They are simply stuffing money into the pockets of private interests.

In the case of the half a trillion dollars, they stuffed the money into foreign private pockets. In the case of another $230 billion, it has been tracked as a secret bailout to Citicorp in the US. The fact is the Federal Reserve continuously puts all of us on the hook for decisions they make to play favorites with private interests to the tune of trillions of dollars.
The full interview is here.



  1. It all sounds good, but I can't help but think Grayson is no great friend to the free market. What exactly is "public" wealth?

  2. Ah, it's all too familiar. I saw it once in one faraway land: a knock-out followed by rape and then pillaging on a nauseatingly grand scale. In this case it's now somewhere between steps 1 and 2.

    So I can offer an answer to the question above, in the context of the situation. The public wealth is the one that can be pillaged, I mean transferred, without resistance. He doesn't know, eh? I can offer an answer to that too. He's much more afraid of telling names than lying. With such large numbers involved, the chance of a sudden demise due to an unknown disease, or a tragic suicide, is uncomfortably high. He is not a fool, he understands that he knows way too much, and he wants to live.

    All this may sound a little bit un-American to the public, and in a way it is, as he said himself.