Glenn Greenwald heralds an astonishing turn of events on the Hill - a bipartisan effort to seriously audit the Fed:
Something quite amazing happened yesterday in Congress:theHouse
Finance Committee -- in a truly bipartisan and even trans-ideological
vote -- defied the banking industry, the Federal Reserve,
theDemocratic leadership, and mainstream Beltway opinion in order to
pass an amendment, sponsored by GOPRep. Ron Paul and Democratic
Rep.Alan Grayson, mandating a genuine and probing audit of the Fed.
The amendment is important for several reasons - the primary being the urgent need to find out what the hell is going on in the secretive institution, that as Ryan Grim of the Huff Post points out, "Has never had a real audit in its history and little is
known of what it does with the trillions of dollars at its disposal". The Federal Reserve is a quasi private-public institution that has been completely corrupted by the banks it is supposed to regulate, and without accountability, it remains an imminent threat to the nations economy. Under Alan Greenspan's auspices, the Fed orchestrated the biggest financial meltdown in 80 years, and it's high time an independent body went through their books.
Another important issue is that the amendment has defied party lines, and it has shown that popular anger combined with smart political tactics can enact real reform. As Greenwald notes:
It reveals a winning formula:where there is a strong and principled
leader in Congress willing to defy theParty's leadership and the
Washington establishment (Grayson), combined with leading experts
lending their name to the effort(economists Dean Baker and James
Galbraith), organizations standing behind it (labor groups), and a
shrewd and driven organizer putting it all together (FDL's Jane
Hamsher), even the most powerful forces and opinion-enforcers can be
defeated, as they were here.
The amendment still may fail to become law, but the fact that party members were willing to shun their leaders to vote for it (Barney Frank gives a substantial chance.
For an in depth run down of what happened, check out Ryan Grim's account of the process in the Huff Post - it's a story worth following, because its potential to enact serious change is huge.