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June 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve intends to hire a veteran lobbyist as it seeks to counter skepticism in Congress about the central bank’s growing power over the U.S. financial system, people familiar with the matter said. Linda Robertson currently handles government, community and public affairs at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and headed the Washington lobbying office of Enron Corp., the energy trading company that collapsed in 2002 after an accounting scandal. She was also an adviser to all three of the Clinton administration’s Treasury secretaries.
Robertson would help the Fed manage relations with lawmakers seeking greater oversight of a central bank that has used emergency powers to prevent Wall Street’s demise. While she wasn’t tied to Enron’s fraud, her association with the firm may raise questions, analysts said. “Some members of Congress think there are votes in attacking the Fed” after it “unnecessarily and unwisely entangled monetary policy with fiscal policy,” said former St. Louis Fed President William Poole. “The Fed is going to have a tricky time of unwinding what has been done” and will need to “keep in touch with members of Congress more thoroughly,” said Poole, now senior fellow with the Cato Institute in Washington.Robertson served under Treasury Secretaries Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin and Lloyd Bentsen. She didn’t return calls seeking comment. Summers Tie
The legislation has been pushed by Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) for years in his attempts to rein in the Fed. The bill has 175 co-sponsors in the House alone and on February 26, 2009 was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.