Can anyone explain to me why Barney Frank is still sitting on the House Financial Services Committee? At least he’s not chairman anymore, but still. One wonders what you have to do to get kicked off. Gotta love the way Frank just acts as if he’s not an ethically-challenged slimeball who is in large part responsible for the cratering of the housing market over the past several years.
By all means, let’s hear what Barney Frank of all people proposes we do about the Fed.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) is looking to overhaul the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve, as he argues the current structure places a “significant constraint on national economic policy making.”
Specifically, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee is setting his sights on the five seats on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) occupied by regional presidents of Federal Reserve Banks.
Frank argued in a lengthy statement Monday that since the regional presidents are the only ones that are not required to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, it allows for a “self-perpetuating group of private citizens” to place a significant thumb on the scale of monetary policy.
These members are “skewing policy” at the Fed so that it is more interested in fighting potential inflation than in pursuing the second of its two mandates, maximizing employment, according to Frank.
And as the Fed grapples with taking more unconventional steps to boost the economy, those unconfirmed votes, coupled with Senate Republican opposition to some of the president’s FOMC nominees, are handcuffing those efforts, Frank said.
Now he is working on legislation that would remove their votes at the Fed, replacing them instead with an FOMC that entirely consists of members picked by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Somehow I doubt Frank would be proposing this if Republicans occupied the White House and controlled the Senate.