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Senator Sanders Gathers Economists for Planned Federal Reserve Overhaul Bill

October 21st, 2011 | Filed under Economy, Politics & Government . Follow comments through RSS 2.0 feed. Click here to comment, or trackback.

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Editor’s Note: Well, we guess you have to walk before you can run. It’s a start…

By Peter Schroeder, The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday unveiled a dozen economists he has tapped to help draft a plan to overhaul the Federal Reserve he says is “riddled” with conflicts of interest, among other problems.

Headlining the group are Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner and former top adviser to President Clinton, and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and special adviser to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Other economists agreeing to offer their recommendations include Lawrence Mischel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute; Nomi Prins, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns; and Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The outspoken senator announced Wednesday he would be consulting economists as he put together legislation to overhaul the Fed, which he has long complained is opaque and overly beholden to the financial industry. He has been particularly critical of the Fed’s actions during and after the financial crisis, as it loaned out trillions to financial institutions — including some whose top executives also sit on boards of Federal Reserve banks.

While the economists have agreed to offer their thoughts to Sanders, it is not clear exactly how those recommendations will come back, according to Sanders’s office. They may come together for a meeting, or simply each offer a list of recommendations.

Sanders announced he was tapping economists for advice on reforming the Fed after a study from the Government Accountability Office said that the Federal Reserve banks should be more transparent about directors who have ties to the financial sector.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), another left-leaning critic of the Fed, got in on the action Thursday, using the report to criticize the central bank.

“The Federal Reserve operates with brazen disregard for the best interests of the American economy and with very serious conflicts of interest,” he said.

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    Previous Comments:

  1. Greg said:

    David, I agree with the concept but as you know economists are like
    politicians, they have a right or left leaning in their pursuit of
    conclusions. Like the Austrian and Keynesian models. If it is a balance
    of the differing mind sets, then it would be a great thing to happen.

  2. Matt Prather said:

    Keep this in mind:
    Senator Sanders was the guy who watered down the Sunshine Act / Audit the Fed bill in 2010.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-07/sanders-drops-proposal-to-audit-federal-reserve-s-interest-rate-decisions.html
    http://www.ronpaul.com/2010-05-11/sanders-amendment-to-audit-the-fed-passes-96-0

    His logic was that it had to be done to get it to pass. In other words, the Senate is a neutered lapdog to the Fed and the banks.

  3. [...] Editor’s Note: Well, we guess you have to walk before you can run. It’s a start… Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled a dozen economists he has tapped to help draft a plan to overhaul the Federal Reserve he says is “riddled” with conflicts of interest, among other problems. … Read More >> [...]

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