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Guest Post: Damien Hoffman Exclusive Interview With Alan Grayson

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Exclusive Interview: Congressman Alan Grayson Talks Fed Transparency and Missing Money, from Damien Hoffman, of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

 

In May, a cool and collected Congressman Alan Grayson questioned the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent and spent by the Federal Reserve. Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman said she had no idea where the money went. Two months later, Congressman Grayson asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the same questions. Here is the exact exchange:

Grayson: “So who got the money?”
Bernanke: “Financial institutions in Europe and other countries.”
Grayson: “Which ones?”
Bernanke: “I don’t know.”
Grayson: “Half a trillion dollars and you don’t know who got the money?”

As you can see, like Congressman Ron Paul, Congressman Grayson is one of the rare voices asking the most important questions on behalf of the US Taxpayers. Most importantly, Congressman Grayson understands the Fed’s secretive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to private interests as “The story of the millennium.”

If this sounds like the stuff of conspiracies, simply look at any chart of the US dollar and you can see it has lost over 95% of it’s value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913.

I caught up with Congressman Grayson to better understand the problem with our Federal Reserve, the rising momentum for the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (H.R. 1207), and how we can make the Fed more accountable to their four government delegated duties …

Damien Hoffman: Congressman Grayson, I recently penned an article called “Has the Federal Reserve Failed?” in which I looked at their four government delegated duties and concluded they simply have not done their job. What is your proposal to make the Federal Reserve more transparent and accountable?

Congressman Grayson: H.R. 1207 is one of the simplest bills imaginable. Unlike the healthcare bill which is over 1000 pages, H.R. 1207 is a page and a half. The bill lists the existing exclusion of the Federal Reserve from oversight by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and allows the GAO — an independent body — to audit the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Federal Reserve Bank has not had an independent audit since it was created almost 100 years ago, and it needs an audit. Many times we have exposed gross acts of irresponsibility on the part of the Federal Reserve. So, we need to dig in and get details.

Just a few weeks ago, while Chairman Bernanke was testifying to Congress, we examined the Fed balance sheet and P&L statement only to find what looked like the Fed handing over half a trillion dollars to foreigners. This was very surprising! When I asked Chairman Bernanke if this was true, he said, “Yes.” When I asked him who got the money, he said, “Fourteen foreign Central Banks.” And when I asked to who did they give the money, he said, “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is not good enough when you’re talking about $500 billion. That’s $1700 for every man, woman, and child in this country.

Damien: What is the status of the bill?

Congressman Grayson: I am very sure the bill will pass — possibly by the end of September, but more likely by the end of October.

Damien: Congressman, what do you say to the primary criticism that auditing the Fed’s book is like exposing confidential information which can lead to harm?

Congressman Grayson: The Fed made that exact same argument in court and recently lost across the board in the case of Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System [U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), No. 08-9595.]. The judge looked at the facts and noted that shining a spotlight on what the Federal Reserve’s actions will only be a good thing. So, that argument has been demolished based on the evidence.

Damien: Congressman, while we are waiting for a Fed audit, does anyone know what the Fed has been doing given that they have not fulfilled their government delegated duties as listed on the Federal Reserve website?

Congressman Grayson: They are performing a truly remarkable, surreptitious transfer of wealth from public to private hands. They are taking their ability to print money and shore up failed banks. They are simply stuffing money into the pockets of private interests.

In the case of the half a trillion dollars, they stuffed the money into foreign private pockets. In the case of another $230 billion, it has been tracked as a secret bailout to Citicorp in the US. The fact is the Federal Reserve continuously puts all of us on the hook for decisions they make to play favorites with private interests to the tune of trillions of dollars.

Damien: Congressman, what do you say to those who call your allegations a conspiracy theory?

Congressman Grayson: Something I found very intriguing was the Semi-Annual Report from the Federal Reserve to the Congress. That’s a mother-load of secrets if you read it very carefully and ask the right questions.

Since it looks like the Federal Reserve may soon be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, that opens many opportunities for the public to see the facts.

These are not conspiracies. The Federal Reserve’s own website has some incredibly interesting information about the general state of the US economy and the distribution of wealth in our country. I was recently reading our national wealth capped out at $62 trillion two-years ago has crashed to $50 trillion since. Those are Federal Reserve statistics on their website.

Damien: Congressman, I know you have another interview in a moment, so thanks for your time. I would love to follow up with you on this story sometime soon.

Congressman Grayson: Super. This is the story of the millennium. There are very few stories you can ever write about where the numbers involved have 13 digits in them. I look forward to staying in touch.

 

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Wed, 09/16/2009 - 17:51 | 71654 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Grayson is one of the 'good ones'.

Unfortunately the Senate is pretty much all 'bad ones'.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 17:51 | 71655 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

won't this be ww3 once the truth is known. I think we are underestimating how bad this will be for all of us if this really happens. Any thoughts would be very welcome

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 22:13 | 71909 agrotera
agrotera's picture

I dont' think so...it may prevent ww3 if our country collectively puts forth the honest effort to undo the legislation that enabled the criminality of this evil machine.  The reason we love stories where good triumphs over evil so much is that innately, we all hope for this...and it would be textbook excellent, and fairytale perfect if we can see an end to the reign of robbery that our country has endured by this stealth criminal cartel.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:02 | 71664 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

71655:

how the hell do you prevent "ww3" in your terms by being ignorant of the realities??? Why do people keep bringing u[ the most idiotic of arguments to support the most untenable of positions--in this case, that taxpayers and non-connected market participants are not entitled to know what other people are doing with their money, because those who are handling the money are clearly doing such stupid things that to disclose their actions would be harmful?

But hey, what the hell--let's codify this excuse into law. That way, nobody ever has to explain or defend any actions on the basis that doing so would cause irreparable harm. Why should only the people who play with trillions of dollars be shielded from the consequences of their actions?

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:04 | 71666 Veteran
Veteran's picture

Great interview.  Don't know much about Grayson but I really respect and appreciate his laudable fight against the Fed.  However, I gotta be honest. I think this has a snowball's chance in hell of passing into law short of rioting in the streets.  And that infuriates me. 

Impatiently waiting. . .

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:42 | 71723 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So, that would be OUR problem. We're ALL impatiently waiting.

Maybe it is time for the street to get a wake-up call from old mister smoke-of-burning-tires.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:09 | 71674 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Oh please, does anyone honestly believe this dog and pony show anymore?

Minnesota Governor Jessie Ventura equates Congress to Vince Mcmahon's WWF wresting show.

BTW, the wife is now running for Senate:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/nyregion/17wwf.html

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:11 | 71675 Crook County
Crook County's picture

Awesome interview.  Great find.

Here are a few vids from yesterday's Audit the Fed Rally in Chicago.

 

Illinois C4L Coordinator Doug Bach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz8CvO3xRDI

 

Sheila Weinberg from Institute for Truth in Accounting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91ql0hVa0Ik

 

Republican Candidate for 5th Congressional District David Ratowitz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IISmOubE4yg

 

Green party Candidate for 5th Congressional District Matt Reichel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPamimw3i4M

 

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:14 | 71684 deadhead
deadhead's picture

lots of spy unloaded today.  maybe the Fed is starting to clean house.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:17 | 71687 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Do you think Grayson will be "nailed" literally and figuratively for trying to pry open too many secrets ? I suspect Kennedy saw the same fate for trying to get a step ahead of himself !! Its not whether you are a Dem or Rep, its whether you are a part of the inner circle of power brokers. Even Obama inspite of his "threats" to the bankers is a mere pawn and so have several US Presidents after the Carter era !!

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:20 | 71694 thegreatsatan
thegreatsatan's picture

this passes the Senate around the same time Obama takes off his mask on a special episode of the new V remake and reveals he is the king of the Lizard People

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:36 | 71712 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i am the lizard king
i can do anything

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKnnY6vdT6w&feature=related

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:40 | 71721 Yossarian
Yossarian's picture

It just occurred to me that the enemy of ou enemy may not be our friend.  Sure The Fed is a private entity controlled by a cabal of banks under the auspices of being a govt body but what's the alternative?  For us it's sound money, whether that means gold/commodity backed currency, free banking, or something similar.  For Barney Frank it means him (Congress) having control of the printing press for their statist agenda.  Not sure which I prefer.  

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:58 | 71744 D.O.D.
D.O.D.'s picture

Absolutely Yossarian, we should do nothing.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 20:08 | 71801 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Yoss,

America cannot survive with the yoke of the banking bastards around our collective necks.  They debase our currency and punish savers.  It is not enough that one must make a living, now one must be ever worried about what to do with one's earnings.  That is not only an unproductive exercise, but a wealth destroying exercise.  What is wrong with requiring the UST to issue gold and silver certificates again?

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 09:59 | 72242 Yossarian
Yossarian's picture

You all are missing my point- focus on the War not just the battle.  If Barney Frank manages to get Fed powers in his hand we have accomplished nothing.  The goal is sound money so, yes, The Fed should be abolished or radically changed, but the goal should be sound money not printing presses for the people (Barney Frank).  Don't let the statists coopt this- they love taxes because it is where they get their power- don't give them the tool to stealthfully impose the tax that is inflation.  

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:52 | 71739 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

we think barney may just starting to get a little 'concerned' about getting reelected in 2010.

he knows where the zeitgeist is -- he's scaly like that.

the question is whether he really has to open up pandora's box to do it or whether he can get away with only a 'promise' to pull it open until after next november.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 19:05 | 71753 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It's better to not know you have a deadly tumor until the last moment when it kills you, rather than finding out early and dealing with the pain of chemotherapy that might actually save your life. Lol

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 19:31 | 71778 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Remember the old CCCP?

It's like this is a revival.

Where Greyson is auditioning for the role of "Gorby"

Give me 100 shares of:

The fed gets audited, and the Republic is no more

collapsed under the weight of its bone headed debt/decision making

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 19:42 | 71787 digalert
digalert's picture

The FED is outrageous! If a company wants to go public they must produce quarterly reports and yet the FED has been audited NEVER? That's insane, I want a stress test for the FED.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 19:59 | 71797 Pimp Daddy
Pimp Daddy's picture

It will be very very interesting to see what happens "if" this bill is passed. I'm thinking the Fed could be open to utter carnage as the conspiracy theorists get their day in the sun. What will the Fed do? And how realiable is an audit that is performed by the GAO anyway? Are they owned by Goldman too?

 

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 21:19 | 71861 The Eradicator
The Eradicator's picture

If the Fed would be open to utter carnage because of an audit, then the "conspiracy theorists" wouldn't be conspiracy theorists after all, would they?

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 23:02 | 71958 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

If these bills ever get close to a vote, the Fed will pull liquidity and tank the markets so fast it will make your head spin.

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 00:17 | 72033 defender
defender's picture

I hope that it does.  There are a large number of congressman that have gotten used to having power.  There will be a massive backlash if they suddenly get pushed around.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 21:11 | 71856 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Full transcript:

Grayson: “So who got the money?”
Bernanke: “Financial institutions in Europe and other countries.”
Grayson: “Which ones?”
Bernanke: “I don’t know.”
Grayson: “HA HA HA HA HA HAHA ...fuck, I'm crying over here....Half a trillion dollars and you don’t know who got the money? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Bernanke: "Er well, . . . um was that in the script we approved? .. um..s-s-s-sorry my lawyer just passed me a note wait it says 'OUR FRIEND AT GS JUST IM'D - SAID TO SHUT THE FUCK UP OR WE'LL STEAL YOUR WIFE'S PURSE' hey er ah, was I supposed to read that?...Fucking-A is this another one of Hank's sick jokes? Christ! I was shitting a brick here - Alan, you bastard....whew for a minute there, I thought... You guys kill me. Really. Jeeeeezuz Crisssss."

But seriously, what fun it must be to ask the real questions, the uncomfortable questions of an elitist bastard. How can they tolerate this . . . insult? Wish we could ask the same kind of questions for about an hour of Hank Paulson, all about AIG, $700 billion, and Goldman, and all those conversations with Blankfein during his tenure as a servant of We The People.

Douchebags.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 21:42 | 71882 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Hats off to you buddy... great post. Douchebags was the perfect sign-off.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 23:02 | 71960 Mr. Anonymous
Mr. Anonymous's picture

Brilliant.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 21:29 | 71870 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Sorry that was me. Forgot to log in.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 21:42 | 71883 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

@the other anonymous

WWIII between who?

1000 Banksters vs. 6 Trillion PO'ed denizens of Mother Earth?
Wigga please....

NO CONTEST...
they are trapped behind the 8-ball, and our collective cue ball is becoming BEACH-BALL sized...
it's only a matter of time (and HR1207) before they get sunk...

then there are the other balls on the table, but they don't carry as much weight for points...

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 23:04 | 71964 Mr. Anonymous
Mr. Anonymous's picture

Word to the bird.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 22:39 | 71935 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Fed is only half of the problem. Remember deficit = tax in term of money inflation and interest. It is just a hidden tax. The legislators and president are just as reckless as the Fed. Without the Fed, the legislators could not spend beyond their means. Without the legislators the Fed could not exploit illconcieved bills, like TARP.

Yes, we need Monetary reform, but we also need fiscal reform.

I like Grayson. He asks a lot of good questions. But, I ask myself what additional proof of abuse do our legislators need to remove powers from the Fed? 500 Billion, I don't know? Grayson should introduce a bill to strip away Fed powers, or even repeal the 1913 act.

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 00:33 | 72040 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Kill the FED kill the DEBT. The only REAL debt the american people have is the currently circulating money. I mean come on think about it. The FED is a private corporation. It's saying we owe it almost 12 trillion dollars but it's been compounding that debt since 1913 and stole all the gold in fort knox to securitize it. Without any accounting to find out what has happened to what money. I feel very comfortable with just defaulting on the debt havin congress issue currency against the dollars in circulation and burning dollars as they come back. I mean come on. The FED has pictures of the people who killed the bank or nearly or totaly frustrated it's actions on all it's most widely circulated bills. I mean that's like having Property of Bubba tattood on your butt your whole life. All the people on the bills are dead. Let's stop circulating their wanted posters.

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 23:11 | 71973 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

One Answer:

Ron Paul 2012

If we survive that long

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 03:00 | 72081 Baäl-Zebub
Baäl-Zebub's picture

If Ron Paul survives that long...

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 07:30 | 72127 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Move along now, nothing to see here, report immediately to camp Xray for your H1N1 vaccine and quarantine program.

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 08:47 | 72165 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I daresay Grayson should have flipped Bernanke his cellphone and said "Call someone NOW and find out where the money went. As Fed Chairman, certainly they will connect you to someone who knows the answer."

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 10:04 | 72246 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Former Madoff accountant will be appointed to audit the Fed according to news released today by Doddfrank Frankdodd. "The American people will not stand for the hiring of more than one accountant", a spokesperson for Doddfrank Frankdodd stated.

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