By Christopher J. Petherick
During a hearing on Capitol Hill in early July, a top official at the Federal Reserve warned Congress to stay out of the bankers’ business and not force the privately owned and operated central bank to submit to a public audit.
On July 9 The Financial Times reported on Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul’s landmark “Audit the Fed” legislation (H.R. 1207), which would remove any remaining proscriptions on federal authorities investigating the Federal Reserve Bank, which serves not only as the U.S. central bank but is increasingly acting as the top banker to the world. So far Paul’s bill has picked up 261 co-sponsors, well over half the membership in the House.
Since the collapse of economies around the world in the summer of 2008—brought about by Wall Street greed—the Fed, through its various funding arms, has had the printing presses running day and night, churning out dollars. The Fed publicly claims that its balance sheet stands at just under $2 trillion, largely composed of loans to private banks, mortgage holdings and Treasury bills (U.S. taxpayer debt). But some honest economists believe the Fed is not telling the whole truth about its assets and liabilities, fudging the facts to keep U.S. taxpayers in the dark about the state of the central bank. But the truth is few know just how much money is even in circulation today.