Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: Federal Reserve System is Corrupt and Undermines Democracy

George Washington's picture

Joseph Stiglitz - former head economist at the World Bank and a nobel-prize winner - said yesterday that the
very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with
conflicts that it is "corrupt" and undermines democracy.

Stiglitz said:

we [i.e. the World Bank] had seen a governance structure that corresponds to
our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming
and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a
corrupt governing structure.

Stiglitz pointed out
that - if another country had presented a plan to reform its financial
system, and included a regulatory regime that copied the makeup of the
Federal Reserve system - "it would have been a big signal that
something is wrong."

Stiglitz stressed that the Fed banks have
clear conflicts of interest, since the banks are largely governed by a
board of directors that includes officers of the very banks they're supposed to be overseeing:

So, these are the guys who appointed the guy who bailed them out ... Is that a conflict of interest?

They would say, 'no conflict of interest, we were just doing our job. But you have to look at the conflicts of interest"...

The reason you talk
about governance is because in a democracy you want people to have
confidence ... This is a structure that will undermine confidence in a

Indeed, by all objective measures, the Fed has performed horribly (and see this).

As 6 congressmen wrote
last November, there are at least 4 reasons to demand full transparency
of the Federal Reserve, and a change in the Fed's structure:

First ... how effective a regulator can the Federal
Reserve be if it is unwilling to strive for good public policy through
its regulatory powers?

Second, there is an inherent conflict in the manner in which
regional reserve branch presidents are selected – in that
representatives of the member banks select the regional president. It
seems counterproductive, yet the banking system has provided case after
case of regulated entities selecting their own regulator.

Third, the Federal Reserve has continually resisted efforts to
engage in discussion on structural and governance reform at the System.
Most recently, Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Federal Reserve
has rejected a White House request that [the Federal Reserve] conduct a
public review of its structure and operations.

Despite a request from the administration that provided ample
opportunity for the Federal Reserve to have input into its own reforms,
the central bank has simply refused. It is because of this attitude
that I argue that real financial regulatory reform cannot occur without
an examination into the structure of this entity.

Fourth, and most importantly, the Federal Reserve has shown a
repeated unwillingness to accept efforts to improve transparency for
the System.

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fiona's picture

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Anonymous's picture

Americans are awake now to the FACT, because it is an obvious FACT, that the markets are a criminal fraud managed by goldman fucking sachs, JP fucking morgan, and the fed.

obvious fact

and people are pissed off

more so as they push the markets higher

You Cant Handle the Truth's picture

I'm not defending the Federal Reserve system, but two basic premises of it are out the window these days:  (1) that it is independent of the Treasury, and (2) that it is part of a BANKING system.  

As for #1, if you think the Treasury and the Fed are in any way unsure as to what the other will do right now, you're nuts.  Moreover, one (the Fed) is clearly the dominant party.  This is a basic breakdown in the way the Federal Reserve system was supposed to work.

As for #2, "bank" these days basically means a prop-trading gambling house leveraged beyond sanity in nearly incomprehensible financial products that are intertwined throughout the world economy in an economic standoff of nuclear proportions.  So the entities the Federal Reserve represents and regulates are fundamentally different -- infinitely more powerful -- and thus the Fed has, itself, grown beyond its britches.

This is clearly a regulatory problem, and it may be a systemic problem with the whole Federal Reserve system -- but if you CAN'T EVEN GET AN AUDIT or begin to regulate, then abolishing may be the only way to start over.

jc125d's picture

We are the bees. The world is the hive. The globalist IMF et al cabal is the beekeeper. All the bulshit spewed by the gov and media is the smoke. We take in the smoke and it dulls our agitation. The honey is what we make and what they want. We make it, and they take it. We get our pleasure where we can. We can sting them and sometimes do but they have lots of protection, and lots of honey. And that's it. Unless we swarm or bolt the hive, we're fucked.

Anonymous's picture

A great must-read piece on the Treserve:

The Financial Coup d’Etat: Consolidation of America's Economic Elite

Johnny Dangereaux's picture

This whole "nobel prize winner" moniker makes me sick. Why do they continue to use it?

We KNOW what a contrivance it is, after the last awarding of the peace one to such a deserving recipient.

Too bad nobel prizes aren't made of dynamite! Here's your prize......Ka-Boom!

In the States, we're getting stealth IMF measures.

Ellen Brown wrote about it March 2nd.

Anonymous's picture

Ok....This is the same as the question....

Is a white horse white ?



The real question should be....

Does the structure of govt. need to be changed ?



Next question....

How does one chnage the structure of govt. ?


Anonymous's picture

Debt based fractional reserve currency issued by private bankers at the Fed, to whom the government pays interest is an unsustainable and unconstitutional system. Debt has reached the parabolic stage, and a large percentage of the nation's income (tax receipts) is eaten up by interest payments to the private central bankers. There is a solution. Freedom's Vision. It's not what backs our money, it's who controls it's quantity. Visit and join the swarm at

Anonymous's picture

The FED has performed great when you measure how well they have adhered to their fiduciary obligation to act in the best interest of its private member boards. Bank executive bonuses have never been higher! with taxpayers funding them.

Bravo el Maestro and the Helicopter beating back all moves that would compromise in any way the bonus generating capacity of these institutions!

And way to go Dodd beating back Volker's proposals. The US is a fascist state and can no longer be trusted. We all need China and/or other countries to continue to rise so that it can act as a counterbalance to this fascism which has hi jacked the US republic.

SteveBob's picture

I heard Stiglitz speak last month at the London School of Economics.  He is a bright guy but is without question a quantitative easing (printing press), one-world currency, one-world govenment, central planning loving, dare I say the C-word (as in CCCP).  I've heard him speak, first person, and he is dangerous.

Anonymous's picture

It would behoove you well to get your facts straight - I would have thought that fact checking level at Zero Hedge isnof higher quality. Stiglitz never was the "Head Economist" of the IMF; rather he was Chief Economist at the World Bank, before he was forced out by Summers.

BTW: Would be rather devastated to learn that your general background search is not better than that

Escapeclaws's picture

I thought the fox guarding the henhouse is the American way. Look at the SEC with its 29 year old Goldmanite running the enforcement arm. Remember when they got rid of all the meat inspectors to let the industry police itself? We believe in private enterprise in this country so wholeheartedly that we deem it in our own best interest to let private industry police itself. Look, we aren't even allowed to know if the food we eat is genetically modified--we have no choice but to trust the producers. It's the American way. This is part of getting government off the backs of the people.

Anonymous's picture

An excellent point in the US: the gangs.

The gangs are kind like an exaggerated version of every day US, a sort of "how the US works for dummies"

If you understand how the gangs work, you understand how the US, its spirit, its long term ambitions and stuff.

That story is simply a story of rival gangs.

IMF is mad at FED because the FED is on a better position on the US turf. IMF want to increase its control share over the US turf. Cant be done without kicking FED.

Key word when it comes to the US: gangs. If you understand gangs, you understand the US from the common guy to the the president.

dumpster's picture

so the wolf has been in charge of the hen house for 80 odd years ,, the creature from jeckle island ,,, and now we have some person tell us what has been known for many years ,,

a couple golden stars to pin on his head ,, lol

35Pete's picture

Congress has abdicated it's constitutional responsibilities. 

America deserves to get the government it voted for good and hard. 

Anonymous's picture

Stiglitz criticizing the Fed ?
What's next ?

Mark Sanford criticizing Tiger Woods infidelity ?
Ben Bernanke criticizing James Traficants barber ?
Tom Daschle criticizing lobbyist influence ?

Pigs, by the score, flying by my window.

MarketTruth's picture

:)  Spider PIIG, Spider PIIG, does whatever a Spider PIIG does. Can he swing from a thead? No he can't he's a PIIG look out! There goes the Spider PIIG. :)


Captain Willard's picture

Well, he's right of course. But the alternative is that the Congress goes ahead, exercises its Constitutional responsibilities, directly runs the Fed and destroys us even faster.

The problem is Congress. And we need to re-write the Federal Reserve Act so that the bankers can not simply put in place their friends to run the Fed. But the Devil is in the details.

Stiglitz has a keen perception for the blindingly obvious problems. Not so obvious is how to fix it. Should we the People elect the heads of the Fed regions and the at-large Board members? Should special regional Congressional caucuses elect them? What role should the Executive branch have? Could we re-engineer the whole mess in full view of the public without causing a panic?

In any case, we may not even choice but to take the bull by the balls and do it before we are ruined.

Anonymous's picture

How about we just keep the money supply at a fixed multiple to the population?
A purely mechanical structure is easier to implement and take out all the subjective guess work from the chairman.

Anonymous's picture

the enemy of my enemy is my friend and if it takes an imfer like steiglitz to cast the light of truth on the den of iniquity which is the fed i will take it for now.....

if i hear transparency one more time i am going to puke....fuck the fed - burn it down.

Anonymous's picture

Its all fked. The whole system. We are all fked. We all know it.
Its like watching an atom bomb the size of Alaska dropping to Earth - no one feels they have the power or ability to alter reality or change whats coming. So we come here and whine instead until we are vapourized.

Anonymous's picture

Only the unprepared will be vaporized. The prepared will be going hunting...for banksters and their stooge politicians. They can run, but they can't hide.

Anonymous's picture

Bring back the guillotine...

so few blades, so many heads...

Mr. Anonymous's picture

Oh, the joyous sound of the Chopper.  Croon for us.

G. Marx's picture


I thought we acknowledge political hacks before we quoted them? Or do we only do that with Republicans?  Stiglitz has had quite the career as part of the ruling status-quo. It would be substantive news if he admitted his culpability in the grand fiat Ponzi scheme, but this, this is tripe.

George Washington's picture

Okay, but it is newsworthy ... just as it it would be if Bernanke said that the IMF uses disaster capitalism when it "helps" developing nations with loans and then demands austerity measures.


Crime of the Century's picture

+1  There will never be a day that I read the name Stiglitz w/o remembering his 2002 report on the GSEs. Just in time to indemnify the ensuing shitstorm. "But Stiglitz said we're harmless!"

El Hosel's picture


    ...and whoever coined the term "shit storm" +3

Privatus's picture

...and whoever coined the term "shitfountain" +3

brodix's picture

TPTB are fighting amongst themselves. Expect more of it, because even they know it's getting out of control. They can plaster over the cracks for only so long.

Anonymous's picture

The only reason the federal reserve system exists in this country is because we have a powerful military and a strong police force at various jurisdictions.

Anonymous's picture

Well, which other country in the world has a central bank system like the US Federal Reserve?


Because no government (except the US of course) can survive proposing establishing a privately-owned money printing organization which it, the government and the rest of the country, must borrow money from with full interest.

That's called creating corruption.

Now in the case of the Fed, Congress passed a law exempting it from supervision, from reporting, from control, by Congress and the people.

That's called the ultimate stupidity.

As if that's not enough, the US Constitution says "... only Congress may coin money ...". But Congress not only does not coin money, it gave away this power to a private bank which it cannot regulate or control.

What do you call these. Treaso.... ?

35Pete's picture

Huh? What nations do not have a central bank like the Federal Reserve? 

jeff montanye's picture

actually the original bank of england looked quite a lot like the fed, given the more primitive state of finance in the earlier period.

Anonymous's picture

.and the problem if the FED and it's parents, Goldman Sucks, were to vaporize tomorrow, how much better off would the world be?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

watched President Fisher,  of the Texas fed ,refer to the people of America as "SNAKES"..

(see CNBC interview yesterday morning)

not one comment on this by our MSM- I even pointed the comment out to Drudge...silence

Our masters at the Fed banks are exibiting

signs of fear of the could hope they are right.

(see CNBC interview yesterday morning)

Cistercian's picture

 How ironic.I think of the FED as being operated by snakes.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

not able to get the internet address to print so here is the info for the interview,,he makes those statements about 2 min in..sure don't make me feel any better about the Fed reserve bank crooks oops.. I mean system.

go to cnbc video list here is the date and time.


Wed. Mar. 3 2010 | 7:13 AM ET

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher discusses the economy, unemployment and more with CNBC.

Anonymous's picture

Link seems to be GONE? there is a video clip 3 Mar at 7:08 for about 2 minutes and then another at 7:15. Were commercials on from 7:10 to 7:15? or did CNBC REMOVE the clip. Does anyone have that clip captured, on youtube?

Anonymous's picture

Looks like demonization of the fed to placate the IMF global takeover. What other endgame is there?

bchbum's picture

I completely agree.  The fed 'owns' much of the toxic paper through mbs purchases (do we know for sure?).  Will the fed throw itself under the bus for something much worse?  Time will tell.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Will the fed throw itself under the bus for something much worse?  Time will tell."

This idea is so beyond most people's comfort zone that it never even registers as possible.

"The reason you talk about governance is because in a democracy you want people to have confidence ... This is a structure that will undermine confidence in a democracy."

So maybe they don't want democracy any more. Maybe the purpose of the engineered crisis is to compel people to accept some more restrictive form of governance. These people are whores. The only questions are how much will it take to sell our freedom away and why are we accepting the sellout? 

Anonymous's picture

"A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the Nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men... We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men."

-Woodrow Wilson, Senate Doc. 23, 76th Congress, 1st Session
after assisting with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, which gave birth to the Criminal Reserve

Anonymous's picture

"All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome." … George Orwell

Keiser also talks to David DeGraw about his new book, “The Economic Elite versus the People of the United States of America.”