In a major victory for transparency at the Federal Reserve, the Senate Tuesday passed an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to audit the Fed and make the central bank reveal which banks received more than $2 trillion in emergency aid during the financial crisis. “The Fed can no longer operate in virtual secrecy,” said Sanders. Under his amendment, the Government Accountability Office would conduct a top-to-bottom audit of all emergency actions by the Fed since the start of the financial crisis in 2007. The non-partisan research arm of Congress specifically would be directed to investigate apparent conflicts of interest involving the Fed and CEOs of the largest financial institutions in the country. In addition to the audit, the Fed for the first time would have to reveal by Dec. 1, 2010, the identities of banks and other financial institutions that took more than $2 trillion in nearly zero-interest loans.
To watch the senator at a post-vote Capitol Hill press conference, click here.
To read the New York Times coverage of the historic vote, click here.
To watch Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke refuse Sanders' request for the names of the loan recipients, click here.