These people want to determine health care policy. Really, it’s amazing.
In addition to providing some well-deserved snark regarding Maxine Waters’s financial illiteracy, Michael Moynihan refers us to this piece by Elizabeth MacDonald, which points out–in fairness to Waters–that hers were not the only mind-bendingly bad questions confronting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke:
[Waters's questions] came not soon after Rep. Ron Paul (R.- Texas) exhausted five minutes of taxpayer-paid for electricity to demand answers from Bernanke on the Fed’s shadowy role funneling money to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein as well as the Nixon administration during Watergate.
“Why couldn’t we open the [Fed's] books up 10 years back and find out the truth of these matters?” Paul asked.
Usually Uncle Ben’s nice, but Bernanke, his contents clearly under pressure, uncharacteristically said the allegations about the Fed’s involvement in Watergate and with Hussein were “absolutely bizarre.”
Bernanke quickly stopped using his inside voice, and noted that the Fed discloses transcripts of its Federal Open Market Committee meetings after five years.
And Bernanke seemed to agree with Paul’s request to review every loan made to foreign governments.
The US’s top central banker also said the Federal Reserve would release the names of banks who had availed themselves of its credit facilities, in due course.
But Paul’s Watergate and Hussein questioning was mustered as alleged evidence as to why the Fed should be subjected to wider audits of its monetary policy by the Government Accountability Office, which the Fed opposes as it would lead to political interference, and possibly greater inflation, something former Fed chair Arthur Burns swore would happen the last time Congress threatened this in the late ’70s.
Never mind that the Fed has monetized Congress’s deficit spending enough already, something Bernanke also averred today would stop. “We are not going to be monetizing the debt,” Bernanke warned.
The following is worth noting as well:
This deficit spending problem “is not 10 years away, it affects the markets today,” Bernanke replied to a question to Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the only person on the committee who appears to not be a few peas short of a casserole, upon which committee chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) cut off this line of questioning.
But of course he did. God forbid that we should have some smart questions put to the Federal Reserve Chairman.