December 3, 2009
Dear Members of the U.S. Senate:
In the last two years, the Federal Reserve Board has lent several trillion dollars to banks and other private companies, financial and non-financial institutions through a series of special lending facilities. The total amount of loans made through facilities exceeds the annual budget of the United States. In addition, it guaranteed trillions of dollars of various assets and also made hundreds of billions of dollars available to several foreign central banks through currency swap arrangements.
At this point, neither the public nor members of Congress have any information about who benefited from these loans, guarantees, and swap arrangements. There is no information available on the specific terms of the loans – the interest rate charged, the collateral posted, and whether or not they were repaid. There is no information available on how it was decided who would qualify for the Fed’s help and who would be denied assistance.
Almost three quarters of the members of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored a bill calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve Board. This audit will allow Congress to assess how the Fed, under the leadership of its chairman Ben Bernanke, performed in this crisis and whether it acted appropriately in its disbursement of an enormous amount of money and guarantees.
Without this audit, Congress lacks the information it needs to evaluate Mr. Bernanke’s performance. Therefore the Senate should delay action on Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment until an audit of the Fed’s books takes place, the results are made available to the Congress and Mr. Bernanke answers a serious inquiry into the actions he took.
Matt Kibbe, president, FreedomWorks
Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
Duane Parde, president, National Taxpayers Union
Ryan Alexander, president, Taxpayers for Common Sense
Chris Bowers, founder, OpenLeft
Dean Baker, co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Robert Borosage, co-director, Campaign for America's Future
Danielle Brian, executive director, Project On Government Oversight
Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies, Cato Institute
Mark Cohen, executive director, Government Accountability Project
Tom DeWeese, president, American Policy Center
Tyler Durden, founder, Zero Hedge
Sandra Fabry, executive director, Center for Fiscal Accountability
Jane Hamsher, founder, FireDogLake
J. Bradley Jansen, Director ,Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Gary Kalman, Washington director, Public Interest Research Group
Aaron Swartz, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Phyllis Schlafly, president, Eagle Forum
John Tate, president, Campaign for Liberty
John Taylor, CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen
Chuck Muth, President, Citizens Outreach
John Whitehead, president, The Rutherford Institute
Larry Greenley, Director of Marketing, The John Birch Society
John Berlau, Director, Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
William Greene, President, RightMarch.com
David E. Williams, Vice President, Policy, Citizens Against Government Waste
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
James Kenneth Galbraith, economist
Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
George Goehl, executive director, National People's Action
Jim Turner, Chairman, Citizens for Health
Gary Kalman - Director of the Washington, D.C. Office, U.S. PIRG