Friday, September 30, 2011

Barney Frank offers curious ‘cure’ for The Fed

[This is an incredibly provocative and accurate examination of progressive Barney Frank’s attempts to command “mandatory harmony” (state control) in our political institutions. – JS]


By George F. Will

According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, “If two people always agree, one of them is redundant.” So, imagine what he thinks of Rep. Barney Frank’s legislation designed to dampen dissent within the Fed.

Fond of diversity in everything but thought, a certain kind of liberal favors mandatory harmony (e.g., campus speech codes). Such liberals, being realists at least about the strength of their arguments, discourage “too much” debate about them (e.g., restrictions on campaign spending to disseminate political advocacy). Now Frank wants to strip the presidents of the Fed’s 12 regional banks of their right to vote as members of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee.

Five presidents are permitted to vote at any one time, and Frank’s bill is partly a response to three of them voting incorrectly, in his opinion. In August, the FOMC voted 7-3 in favor of an indefinite extension of the very low interest rates of the last three years.

Frank says he has “long been troubled” from a “theoretical democratic standpoint” by the “anomaly” of important decisions affecting national economic policy being made by persons “selected with absolutely no public scrutiny or confirmation.” It was not, however, until August that this affront to Frank’s democratic sensibilities became so intolerable that he proposed a legislative remedy.

Read the rest here …