FLASHBACK #1 (June ’09): Bernanke fearmongers that Fed audit would be ‘takeover’ by Congress, trigger economic collapse (see video below)
FLASHBACK #2 (Nov. ’09): Barney Frank vows to “wall off” Fed from monetary scrutiny, warns Bernanke to brace for audit
Scott Lanman and Vivien Lou Chen
January 20, 2010
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke sought to defuse allegations that the central bank tried to conceal details about the $182.3 billion bailout of American International Group Inc., calling for a review of Fed actions by congressional auditors.
[efoods]In a letter yesterday to the Government Accountability Office, Bernanke pledged “all records and personnel necessary” for an audit. Separately, the New York Fed provided 250,000 pages of documents to a U.S. House committee in response to a Jan. 12 subpoena demanding all materials related to the decision to fully reimburse banks that bought protection from AIG.
Bernanke’s moves coincide with preparations by Senate Democrats to hold a vote this week on whether to confirm him to a second four-year term. Lawmakers stepped up inquiries about the Fed’s oversight of AIG after e-mails released this month showed that the New York Fed asked the company to withhold information from the public about payments to banks.
“Bernanke wants to do everything possible to dispel any doubt of any inappropriate actions related to AIG,” former Fed Governor Robert Heller said in an interview. An invitation to audit “will clear the air” and allow Bernanke to say “‘I’ve asked for a full GAO investigation,’” Heller said.
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