Senator Bernie Sanders: FED Is Riddled With Conflicts Of Interest

Copyright © 2011 Vanguard of Freedom

A new audit of the Federal Reserve released today detailed widespread conflicts of interest involving directors of its regional banks. “The most powerful entity in the United States is riddled with conflicts of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said after reviewing the Government Accountability Office report.

Sanders’ Office said the study required by a Sanders Amendment to last year’s Wall Street reform law examined Fed practices never before subjected to such independent, expert scrutiny. “The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves,” a statement said.

The corporate affiliations of Fed directors from such banking and industry giants as General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, and Lehman Brothers pose “reputational risks” to the Federal Reserve System, the report said. Giving the banking industry the power to both elect and serve as Fed directors creates “an appearance of a conflict of interest,” the report added.

The 108-page report found that at least 18 specific current and former Fed board members were affiliated with banks and companies that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. In the dry and understated language of auditors, the report noted that there are no restrictions in Fed rules on directors communicating concerns about their respective banks to the staff of the Federal Reserve.  (SEE FULL ARTICLE HERE)