Senator Dodd, have you gotten those bank names yet?

By Tim White

On May 5, Bloomberg News’ Scott Lanman reported on the claims of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that he was trying to increase transparency at the Fed:

The Fed’s effort at greater transparency in its emergency lending programs is a response to an April 2 nonbinding budget amendment sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, and the panel’s ranking Republican, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, Bernanke said. That proposal passed 96-2.
 
The Fed chief did not mention a tougher measure, also nonbinding, sponsored by Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent, that called on the Fed to identify borrowers. The measure passed 59-39 on the same day.

By digging a little deeper you’ll see that on April 2, while Bernie Sanders (Populist – VT) was attempting to shed light on The Fed Cartel, Chris Dodd (Political Class – CT) voted against revealing the names of the banks that received $2.2 trillion in money that had recently grown on trees been printed by Ben Bernanke.

Again, Bloomberg issued their report on May 5.

Then on May 6, Chris Dodd seemingly recognized the err of his ways.
When pressed by FireDogLake’s Jane Hamsher, Chris Dodd agreed to ask Bernanke for the names of the banks that received the $2.2 trillion:

This week, Chris Dodd will be marking the five month anniversary of his opposition to transparency and his opposition to good government. He’ll also be marking the four month anniversary of his lie his promise to Jane Hamsher.

Senator Dodd, have you gotten those names yet? Have you even asked?

P.S. On February 9, Bloomberg reported that $9.7 trillion had been recently created. And on March 31, Bloomberg reported that $12.8 trillion had been created. Frankly, the details are difficult to follow. But if you want to try, those two articles seem to be a reasonable place to start.

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24 responses to “Senator Dodd, have you gotten those bank names yet?

  1. Fed Must Make Public Reports on Emergency Bank Loans

    Times are getting tougher for the world’s most secretive and unaccountable banking cartel. According to Bloomberg:

    The Federal Reserve must make records about emergency lending to financial institutions public within five days because it failed to convince a judge the documents should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

    Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska rejected the central bank’s argument that the records aren’t covered by the law because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions. The collateral lists “are central to understanding and assessing the government’s response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression,” according to the lawsuit that led to the ruling.

    Openness would be a positive development, but it is unlikely to be as clear as we hope because it would harm the Federal Reserve’s advantageous position with some of the biggest bailout recipients, most of whose former employees now work for the Fed.

  2. No, no, no, no, no, no no! What are you trying to do here Tim? Back in May, I emailed Dodd’s office asking him why he wasn’t supporting the full audit of the Fed sponsored by Bernie Sanders (S. 604). I asked him exactly what he had against transparency in government. A mere 12 weeks later his office responded that Dodd did, in fact, support transparency in government.

    “Please be assured that I will continue diligent oversight of all of the programs to which taxpayer funds have been allocated or otherwise committed, and will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to ensure that these commitments are as transparent as possible, that those carrying them out are held accountable, and that the programs are working in the best interest of the U.S. taxpayer.”

    That’s what he said. And we all know politicians won’t just say whatever they think people want to hear, so he must have meant it. So stop trying to do whatever it is you’re trying to do to Dodd’s character, because it just isn’t true. Even if he still isn’t a cosponsor of the audit the Fed bill.

  3. Great post, Tim.
    Everyone who cares about transparency, check out http://www.AuditTheFed.com

  4. JP said:

    all of the programs to which taxpayer funds have been allocated or otherwise committed

    The trick is probably in the wording. IMO, one can argue that Treasury dollars are tax dollars, while Fed dollars are not tax dollars. Of course, you and I both know those are inflationary dollars as Bernanke continues to… what’s the phrase… monetize the debt (??). Basically taking away our standard of living by turning on the printing presses.

    I’ve supported RP for years. But I never “got” his whole thing with The Fed. I largely ignored it, until his run for POTUS. And now I’ll never forget when I first heard him describe “the inflation tax.” Looking back, it’s a small part of what makes the other 20 candidates look like they shouldn’t have even be running.

    Just this week a colleague asked me about “that guy (you) supported for President. Was his name Ron Paul?” She went on to say that she had heard about him because of his Audit the Fed bill… and also… she voted for Obama because he was against the war… but now having learned more about both RP and President Obama… she probably should have voted for RP… because she hasn’t seen much change yet in the wars… and Obama ain’t doing squat about auditing the fed.

  5. Bo… on Friday there was an update… the number one guy in Bush’s failed economic team… whoops I mean the number one guy in Obama’s failed economic team… has until Sept 30 to appeal the court’s Aug 24 decision to require the release of the names of the banks. So maybe Senator Dodd will still be heading to Wall Street for campaign donations. He certainly has done his best to protect them.

    I was thinking about doing another piece for next Sunday. I prefer to keep the front page posting short.

  6. Tim, Tim, Tim…

    I’m so disappointed.

    Don’t you realize that Dodd is off limits to criticism for eight months since he is mourning Teddy’s passing?

    Please show some respect.

  7. AndersonScooper

    Dude, Kennedy is now buried at Arlington. So you all can continue your constant Dodd-bashing.

    For the record, I now mark five months since the last CTLP’er made a positive post about one of the potential GOP challengers.

    Who do you like, and what is their agenda for CT and America?

  8. Scoop, so you know… I actually wrote this post two months ago. But for a variety of reasons (including me being on vacation and offline at one point), it didn’t get published… so it was before Kennedy’s passing and before we learned of Senator Dodd’s illness.

    Seriously though, I’d be asking these questions even if Dodd had been reelected just last November. I mean, he told Jane Hamsher that he would ask. The least he can do is ask. And heck… it won’t even take any time.

    If he were truly serious about getting the names, he could simply have a banking committee staffer call a Bernanke staffer and get the names. If the Fed plays hardball, then Dodd’s staffer tells Dodd so… at which point Dodd gives the thumb’s up to remind the Fed that his committee has subpoena power (same as House Dem Chair Towns used on his Oversight & Reform Committee against the Fed recently).

    If the Fed stonewalls further, then it would ultimately take more than five minutes of the Senator’s time. And I may then have some sympathy for him not truly fulfilling the simple request made by Jane Hamsher.

    As for his arguments about “independence,” I find that to be a sham. That’s the same thing that was being said about AIG and their bailout. Then after immense pressure, AIG eventually released the names of their counterparties (as Dodd notes in the Hamsher interview). And then we learned the single biggest beneficiary of the AIG bailout:

    Goldman Sachs

    Shocking!

    Rubin (Goldman – D)
    Paulson (Goldman – R)
    Geithner’s Chief of Staff (Goldman – ??) And do I care which party is that of Geithner or his chief of staff? No. It’s irrelevant. Obama promised to get rid of the lobbyists. Yet the man running much of the endless bailout programs is Geithner… and he got a pass when he wanted to hire Goldman’s chief lobbyist as his gatekeeper.

    Seriously… how can you guys let Dodd do this? This isn’t party stuff… Bush started the past twelve months of unaccountable bailouts. And Obama hasn’t done anything to stop it. But at least Dems can demand their Congress doesn’t become another rubber stamp. And that’s what Dodd appears to be doing.

  9. Precious photo of beloved late Senator and Bill Curry.

    http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-ted-kennedy-dead-connecticut-pictures,0,2896719.photogallery

    Oh, my!!!

    Bill, how’s that book coming?

  10. Photo #13 in series…

  11. Thanks Don. Hadn’t seen it. Not surprising though. My understanding is that Obama has realized it’s politically impossible to fight Ron Paul’s “audit the fed” bill and get any meaningful financial regulatory reform through Congress.

    My guess is that the President realizes few members of Congress are willing to go to the mat for him by opposing transparency. Dodd is willing to do it though, obviously. But even the Senate Banking Chair can’t stop this.

  12. I favor the audit.

    However, it seems to me that this is one of those things that, while good, attracts a bunch of nutjobs. I also think that non-nutjobs and nutjobs alike, for different reasons, think that this audit will really do something to bring about serious change.

    Whenever you have something that involves the fed, you get your bag of folks who say it is a Jewish banking conspiracy or something like that.

    Next, I think people think this audit is really going to bring about change. It’s not going to end the supposed Jewish conspiracy. It’s not going to end the use of fiat money, it’s not going to return us to the gold standard. It’s not going to end the practice of fractional reserve banking.

    Maybe after the audit, a few people will resign from their jobs. Maybe there’ll be some controls put in place that in the end have no noticeable impact unless you work at the Fed. It’ll cause a lot of blogs to be written to discuss the audit and no one outside the 0.1% of the population that follows this stuff will care.

    Seriously, what is your probable and best case end result that comes out of this audit?

  13. Seriously, what is your probable and best case end result that comes out of this audit?

    Maybe Goldman Sachs will give the money back?

  14. I should add — no, I am not actually that stupid.

    There might be enough public outrage or shame to get them to change their name.

    Eh, probably not.

  15. AndersonScooper said:

    Kennedy is now buried at Arlington.
    The only child of Mrs. and Mr. Joseph Kopechne has been buried for 40 years.

    …. the last CTLP’er made a positive post about one of the potential GOP challengers.

    Dodd’s the gift to Republicans that keeps on giving – what else can we say?

  16. Audit the Fed

    Now when nearly two-thirds of the House backs Mr. Ron Paul measure, Mr. Barney Frank has left with no choice but jump on the bandwagon:

    Nearly two-thirds of the House has co-sponsored Mr. Paul’s bill. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke opposes the bill as written, saying it would compromise the Fed’s ability to set interest rates free of political interference. “A perceived loss of monetary-policy independence could raise fears about future inflation, leading to higher long-term interest rates and reduced economic and financial stability,” Mr. Bernanke testified last month.

    Mr. Frank has said any audit would release details of Fed transactions with financial institutions only after a lag. “If that was made instantly, you would have a lot people trading off of that and it would have too much impact on the market,” he said earlier this month. “So we will probably have that data released after a time period of several months, enough time so it wouldn’t be market sensitive.”

    I can’t help my self but wonder about what Mr. Paul will have to deliver in return:

    In an interview Friday, Mr. Paul said Mr. Frank agreed to allow a vote on the bill and to work on language that would allow the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to audit the Fed’s monetary-policy operations. While details are unresolved, the discussions increase the likelihood that some version of Mr. Paul’s bill will pass the House.

    “Barney told me, ‘It’s going to come. You’re going to get what you want,’ ” Mr. Paul said. “We’re going to have some hearings and we’ll get a vote.”

    Source: Wall Street Journal – Frank Said to Back Broader Fed Audits AUGUST 31, 2009

  17. Maybe Goldman Sachs will give the money back?

    I should add — no, I am not actually that stupid.

    Maybe, maybe not…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-CreditCrisis/idUSTRE56L5UX20090722

  18. GMR said:

    Seriously, what is your probable and best case end result that comes out of this audit?

    I’m a CPA and an auditor. Based on my professional experience, my answer is “I don’t know.” Nor does virtually anyone else, including our duly elected representatives.

    I offer though that the current audit exemption includes transactions with “foreign central banks.” Based on that alone, I wonder about the influence exerted by Bernanke on America’s foreign policy. And that seems to me to be relevant.

  19. Furthermore, Hank Paulson was CEO of Goldman before becoming SecTreas. I presume that before taking the title, he sold his shares of GS. However, as one member of Congress noted… Paulson still had a “legacy” to concern him.

    So when Paulson effectively used AIG as a front man for GS (GS was the single biggest beneficiary / counterparty), was that appropriate? I certainly think it was inappropriate for people (last Sept) to trumpet the wonders of GS… when it seemed as though everyone but GS was getting bailed out. Nonetheless, with demands for AIG details being disclosed… the world learned that GS was just as vulnerable as everyone else… despite the nonsense claims of Washington powerbrokers.

    Again, I don’t know what findings would result from an audit. And it certainly seems not only appropriate and necessary… but long overdue.

  20. While Ron Paul does want a complete audit of the Federal Reserve to expose all of their shenanigans, he does recognize that the party leadership will do everything they can to block it or water it down. So his main motivation in pushing this effort is to make more people aware of the Federal Reserve. From there he can make his economic, moral, and constitutional case for abolishing the system altogether as he has done in his just-released book, “End the Fed:”

    http://www.amazon.com/End-Fed-Ron-Paul/dp/0446549193/

  21. Is there a reason my post are not showing up?

  22. hmmm, now it does. Everything is good. I guess.

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