A Less Than Opaque Look At Mel Watt's Motivations To Kill The "Audit The Fed" Bill

Tyler Durden's picture

There has been lots of speculation on why Representative Mel Watt has done his best to make sure that the Audit the Fed bill will be gutted, and why the Congressman is willing to promote the same irresponsible and unaccountable bubble-inflating behavior that got us to the current Fed-sponsored, bubble-reflation attempt, which is practically guaranteed to end much worse than just a few Goldman competitor banks imploding here and there.

Here are some attempts at reconstrcuting Representative Watt's motivations courtesy of Robert Wenzel at EconomicPolicyJournal.com. It should make all questions as to why Fed transparency is not Mr. Watt's friend, quite clear.

The Tom Woods' congressional testimony last week Friday in favor of the 'Audit the Fed' bill had two very curious turns, he set off extremely hostile questioning from two congressmen, by the hearings Committee Chair Barney Frank and Representative Mel Watt. Every other Congressman that questioned Woods, and Fed General Counsel Alvarez, was seemingly concerned about where the money the Fed is printing is actually going. But not Frank and Watt.

I discussed Frank's hostility, here. Watt was even more hostile. It looked like he was hit by a lightning bolt everytime Woods tried to answer a question that Watt posed. He interrupted Woods everytime, as though Woods was taking food off of his dinner table. But, maybe that's exactly how Watt's saw Woods testimony.

Most of the top industries donating to Watt are major beneficiaries of Fed money printing. His top industry donors are at #1 the commercial bankers industry, at #3 the building trade unions (All that Fed money printing benefited the building trade unions probably more so than anyone else), and at #5 the securities and investment industry. The current #1 corporate donor to Watt is Citigroup Inc.

During 2007-08 his top contributors were:

#1 Bank of America

#2 Wachovia Corp

#3 American Express

#4 American Bankers Assn

Overall in 2007-08, he received $187,359 from the Finance/Real Estate sector, more than double the amount of money he received from any other sector. Outside of North Carolina, his home state, Watt received the most contributions from Washington D.C. and New York City. Hmm, NYC donations for a North Carolina boy.

I wonder if the good people of North Carolina know what master their representative is really serving? Representative Watt's high voltage act during Woods' testimony suggests that Watt knows all too well where a tiny bit of the money the Fed is printing is ending up, and he is really making sure that tiny money flow doesn't stop, above anything else.

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chumbawamba's picture

God damn, what a whore.  I'd like to get me some of that action.  Does he offer handjobs?

I am Chumbawamba.

B_Movie's picture

I guess it would too much to ask of Alan Grayson to call out another whore.

Ivanovich's picture

I just sent him love (hate) email.

Green Sharts's picture

I went to his website to send him an email but the dropdown box for State only allows North Carolina.  Below that was this comment:

"Regrettably, I am unable to reply to anyone from outside the 12th district of North Carolina."

He can be bribed from outside the 12th district, however.

JohnKing's picture

Forget email, pick up the phone.


The thirteen Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee mentioned by Dr. Paul are:

Rep. John Adler, NJ (202) 225-4765
Rep. Travis Childers, MS (202) 225-4306
Rep. Steve Driehaus, OH (202) 225-2216
Rep. Alan Grayson, FL (202) 225-2176
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, TX (202) 225-2531
Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, FL Toll Free: 1-877-956-7627
Rep. Dan Maffei, NY (202) 225-3701
Rep. Brad Miller, NC (202) 225-3032
Rep. Walt Minnick, ID (202) 225-6611
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, CO (202)-225-2645
Rep. David Scott, GA (202) 225-2939
Rep. Brad Sherman, CA (202) 225-5911
Rep. Jackie Speier, CA (202) 225-3531

And last, but certainly not least, Rep. Mel Watt. DC: Tel. (202) 225-1510, Fax (202) 225-1512
Charlotte, NC: Tel. (704) 344-9950, Fax (704) 344-9971
Greensboro, NC: Tel. (336) 275-9950, Fax (336) 379-9951

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

North Carolina (Charlotte actually) is considered by many as the financial capital of the south, explaining all the bankster money flowing to Mel Watt.

As a younger man, while seeking some advice on how to fix a plumbing problem, I was told by a master plumber that shit flows down hill and payday is Friday. That sage advice seems to apply here as well.

Besides, it's nearly impossible to convince a person to do one thing when they are paid to do another.

ZerOhead's picture

Melvin Luther Watt...

His parents were probably thinking "Martin" ... personally I'm thinking more like "Lex"...


They have already added killing the audit the Fed bill to his achievements... I love Wiki...

Stuart's picture

I want to see one of the supporters of this bill in Congress call out Watt and publicly roast him for his clear whoring out himself to these Wall St. Pigs. 

ChickenTeriyakiBoy's picture

once again, this man is NOT qualified to sit on this committee, save for his district's (and, apparently, his own) status as primary beneficiary of free or cheap money raining down on charlotte from up north.



Jim B's picture

Why don't we just let these politicians appropriate the funds directly to themselves and cut out the middleman (i.e., bankers, realtors, and crony organizations that eat at the public trough).

I would like to  see a chart showing the increase in personal net wealth versus years served in office for our congressman and senators.  I suspect the results would be parabolic......... 

No, I am not cynical!!

Green Sharts's picture

I have already been to his website.  In order to contact him if you live outside of the state of North Carolina, you have to enter a phony address because the dropdown box has NC as the only choice.  I suspect any critical emails that don't come from a legitimate name and address from the 12th district of NC are screened and discarded by a staffer so that he never sees or hears about them.

Screwball's picture

I'm not sure any of the bastards read them anyway.  I have written mine time and time again.  One asshole never gave me a reply on anything, while the others sometimes do, and sometimes don't.  In the end it comes back either; we had to do the right thing (even if it was against what we wanted), or has nothing to do with the subject I wrote them about.  Just canned bullshit answers.

I'm ready for the pitchforks.  Piss on these creeps.

Steak's picture

"I'm not sure any of the bastards read them anyway."

In the Senate, an intern will read it if you're in state.  If you're out of state then your letter is tossed after reading the zip.  Most times an intern will take more time (cause its more fun) trying to figure out of an out of stater is trying to scam them by using an instate zip but posting a city that makes no sense.

In almost any senate office if you're in state your letter is scanned by said intern for support or opposition.  They then mark your support or opposition tally style, usually on a post-it note.  The letter is then routed through a database to get the canned letter.  Most offices use 3rd parties to scan snail mail now so your hand written shiny is in the same bucket as e-mails when it reaches the intern.

At the end of the day the interns hand off these tallys to their supervisor, sometimes.  Most times the days are too busy to bother the higher ups with issue tallies.  If there are less than a dozen tallies for any particular issue on any given day, the post-it note is usually tossed and not reported to anyone.

Screwball's picture

Good information Steak, thanks for taking the time.

As expected I guess.  What a sham.

I live in Ohio, my better half has worked on the D committee around here.  She knows Sherrod Brown personally.  He was in town last year just before (or after, I can't remember) the bailouts.  He was going to campaign around here.  I wanted to go have a word (hehehe) with him about the bailouts, figuring the better half could get me close.  NOT, she made me stay home.

Now we don't discuss politics at all.  I guess that's ok as long as I get fed.

Again, thanks for the info.

Miles Kendig's picture

Just as long as you don't make your home in Washington-Courthouse...  heh

Fish Gone Bad's picture

For anyone pissed off in North Carolina, this is how to dump Mel Watt.  Put up large roadside signs all over the place.  These signs are best made with a silk screen machine.  Make them on paper/plastic/or wood and put them over signs that are already there.

So what catches people's eyes?  Mel Watts is a SELL OUT!  Mel Watts - Public Enemy  #1  I am sure you can think of more signs.  Keep it short and lethal and just plain mean spirited, you will get your point across.  Perhaps you can get this turd-in-the-punchbowl recalled.


chumbawamba's picture

Short, lethal and just plain mean spirited does not describe "Mel Watts is a SELL OUT!"

A more appropriate slogan would be, "Mel Watts gives out handjobs from his office on Capitol Hill" and "Mel Watts swallows what bankers pitch at him".  And for truly mean spirited: "Mel Watts is married to a pig wearing lipstick".

I am Chumbawamba.

crosey's picture

When I lived in Charlotte, I quickly learned of ole Mel's reputation and hysterics.  He's either your hero, or a pariah.  But he's always for sale.  Trouble is, the Charlotte area has grown so soft on responsibility, and so hungry for the entitlements that Raleigh-Durham has been hoarding for decades.  As such, the area has a supply of "wholesale" politicians.

Mel is getting his day in the sun.  And then, he'll be history.

MountainHawk's picture

And all this will be ignored by the MSM....hell shouldn't someone call him out, where are you Allen Grayson?

InExile's picture

Hardly shocking as NC may as well be NYC.

milbank's picture

This article isn't really enlightening.  It's stating the obvious.  It isn't a mystery.  I said essentially the same thing about Watt in a post following ZH's original article on him a few days.  I closed the post with.  "Congressman Watt represents America... Bank of America that is."

Anonymous's picture

Are you saying a politician has been influenced or has a hidden agenda? I don't believe it.

Anonymous's picture

Here, use his address and zip code. Your email will go through.

1230 W Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28208-5206

Anonymous's picture

I guess I told him!

Congressman Mel Watt
to me

show details 11:58 AM (11 minutes ago)

Thank you for contacting my office. I am pleased to receive your e-mail which offers citizens a quick and efficient way to communicate with their representatives in Congress.

Because of staff and resource limitations and my desire to provide carefully researched and considered responses, I do not always respond to constituents by e-mail. However, if you live in my Congressional district and have included your name and an e-mail or postal address, you will receive a response as soon as possible.


Melvin L. Watt

Stay informed! Sign up for eMel updates or visit www.house.gov/watt

Steak's picture

Zh says they have sources on the hill, so this might not be news to them.  As we remember, key congressional members were told by Fed officials that the executive would likely have to declare martial law if TARP was not passed.

For the Audit the Fed bill many key (and peripheral) legislators have been told that if the Fed's books were audited that it would leave them vulnerable to market vigilantes.  The case is made by saying the bill would be the equivalent of posting a hedge fund's book on the internet, allowing for any wishing to take the other side of those trades the opportunity to launch a speculative attack against the Federal Reserve.  Then after that point is made, the lobbyist/fed official inserts their favorite end of the world scenario.

Of course, the literate among us know that scenario is bunk, but it is being pressed to great effect by this bill's opponents.  If anything it just tells us that the "save the banks save the world" mentality that is allowing for the codification of TBTF is alive and well and supercedes the will of a majority of legislators.

colonial's picture

Tyler:  I'm sure you know most of this, but HFS has only a few real thinkers.  By this I mean Members who are unbiased, intellectually curious and have some perspective.  Led by a partisan Chairman, (a man who revels in making his views part of the record and takes whatever time he deems necessary to make his points while limiting debate from any dissenter.)  This post lacks comment on the real key here.  Put simply its not Watt, its Frank.  On this committee, little happens that's not controlled by the Chairman.  Readers should not be surprised to see that a Member advances the interests of his/her district, or that large players like Citibank give to Watt; they also give to Frank, Kanjorski and Bachus.  Donations are like tolls, everyone has to pay.  This bill has many enemies and they prefer to operate behind the scenes.  Watt is just a handy and obvious pawn. 

faustian bargain's picture

Which doesn't mean he gets a pass...take out the pawn, check the king.

Anonymous's picture


There's so much dirty $$ floating around DC, taking any one of these guys out simply creates more opportunity for the next one to be bought up.

1207/604, whether passed or not is the perfect opportunity to educate our less financially inclined friends how absolutely ridiculous our legislature has become.

If they pass it in anything but it's current or an expanded form, there must be consequence.

Likely, it will get watered down entirely if it even makes it out of committee - with 200+ cosponsors...

It is a testament to the REAL change that needs to happen ... that can't happen.

deadhead's picture

My critter is on the House Committee and is a cosponsor of audit the fed...i emailed him this morning on what a dick mr. watt is and urged passage of this important legislation.

BennyBoy's picture

We just needed to buy one moron, not 435.

Watt's the cheapest and easiest to bribe Congressman the FED's money can buy!

Miles Kendig's picture

A fine example as to why contacting elected representatives is a complete waste of time. Time to take a dump on his and his staff's doorstep.  Anyone got access to a honeypot pump truck or an industrial hog operation?

Anonymous's picture

As a member of the black caucus Watt's seat is more a sinecure
than an elected post. Short of being indicted, and even that is not an electoral disqualification, Watt's seat is completely safe.

CB's picture

Mel's seat in Congress is the product of a gerrymandered district. What an ass.

Anonymous's picture

Alright folks


there it is . . . ANYONE can contact the sonofacunt at this address.

let 'er rip . . . and don't hold anything back . . . he aint no virgin.

Prophet of Wise's picture

It's time for hot scolding tar and freshly plucked chicken feathers and a sign around the neck which shouts "This is what happens to Fed Sellouts!"

Prophet of Wise's picture

Ask the bill's author what he thinks Mr. Watts motivations were? Federal Reserve Policy Audit Legislation ‘Gutted,’ Paul Says:


Anonymous's picture

I would appreciate some clarification. I don't understand how the building trades union can benefit from Fed money. Does the union run its own investment bank? Because the Fed solely deals with the banking industry. Seems to me the building trades union is probably going down the tubes, based on the tanking home-owner and commercial real estate markets.

Crook County's picture
Urgent Action Needed to Save Audit the Fed

Mel Watt (D-NC), Chairman of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee, has sided with banking interests and is working to gut substantial audit provisions from H.R. 1207.  The bill Congressman Watt has sent to the full Financial Services Committee contains no audit of the Fed’s monetary policy-making authority or transparency of the Fed’s secret agreements with foreign central banks.  

Without these provisions, a so-called “audit” of the Fed would be worthless.

Congressman Paul will offer an amendment to restore the provisions contained in H.R. 1207 to audit monetary policy and activity with foreign central banks.  Thirteen of the 41 Democrats and all 29 Republicans on the Committee have cosponsored H.R. 1207, and if they hold the line, we will have the votes to win and restore our audit.


Anonymous's picture

Wake Up people, you just are too dumb to understand what political system you have here. And I give you assurance it is not just Watt or Barney the dino who are paid by interest groups. Why do you think you have a debt bubble, why do you think Greenspan is employed by PIMCO and Paulson, why do you think McCain and Palin was chosen to stand against Obama, and why do you think you guys are addicted to cars, shopping and spending hundreds of billions prosecuting 2 wars (and soon a third) when no one knows why, while defending the causes of a small middle east country who flout human rights laws.

It has always been this way, the great American system is broken, and you guys would be its undoing.

Circumspice's picture

As a native Charlottean (now outside the US), I'd note a few things:

  • Watt's in a gerrymandered district and has never been seriously challenged for reelection. Their last non-Democratic rep was a damn Whig. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NC12_109.gif
  • Wachovia's gone, and Bank of America's next CEO will probably be from outside NC, so if anyone in Charlotte outside the bankster class has benefited extensively from Washington's largesse, I'd like to know how (okay, free golf carts). Unemployment's been shooting up there much moreso than in NYC, even despite modest housing prices and relatively little CRE froth in Charlotte. http://bit.ly/YBjBB
Anonymous's picture

Ah naw. America requires creative solutions to burecratic problems not more of the same
Obama wants to give more oversight to the Fed, wasn't his campaign about hope and change, all I see the same politics that is killin America today
We need more leaders like Ron Paul, people who are not scared of the established order.
We need true Americans to stand up and challenge our politicians until they cave to public pressure.