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Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke appeared incredibly nervous during an interview aired last night on PBS’ NewsHour, particularly during a question on the ongoing effort to pass legislation that would see the Fed’s books being opened up to a general audit.
In a display that will greatly encourage those who continue for push for greater transparency of the privately run Fed’s actions, Bernanke stammered and stuttered his way through the interview, his voice shaking as he attempted to rail against calls to audit the Fed, reciting now familiar and standard lines of propaganda.
“There’s an effort in Congress, and in the House in particular, to audit what the Federal Reserve does, particularly in monetary policy. How do you feel about that?” asked PBS’ Jim Lehrer.
“So that bill, people don’t fully understand what that bill is about. It sounds like, audit the Fed, it sounds like ‘Let’s look at the books.’ That’s what it sounds like.” Bernanke spluttered.
Clearly flustered and sounding very unconfident, Bernanke continued:
“What people don’t understand is that this bill would give the GAO, the GAO, the authority to audit monetary policy. And what does that mean? That means if the Federal Reserve decided a year from now that because of incipient inflation it was time to raise interest rates, that the Congress would say, ‘Ah, the GAO’s going to audit that decision. It’s going to subpoena your materials. It’s going to demand information from members of the FOMC. It’s going to evaluate your decision. It’s going to report to Congress.’ I don’t think that’s consistent with independence.” Bernanke said.