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The Fed Admits To Breaking The Law

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April 05, 2010 – Comments (31)

The Fed will break laws it finds inconvenient, and will say "the interpretation of those laws are unclear". It is fully engaged in the idea of "it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" ... except it isn't even asking for forgiveness. The Federal Reserve is largely a biased, incompetent, (arguably) corrupt, and now criminal institution.

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The Fed Admits To Breaking The Law
Thursday, April 1. 2010
http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2147-The-Fed-Admits-To-Breaking-The-Law.html

[excerpt]

Now how long will it be before something is done about it?

    April 1 (Bloomberg) -- After months of litigation and political scrutiny, the Federal Reserve yesterday ended a policy of secrecy over its Bear Stearns Cos. bailout.

    In a 4:30 p.m. announcement in a week of congressional recess and religious holidays, the central bank released details of securities bought to aid Bear Stearns’s takeover by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Bloomberg News sued the Fed for that information.

The problem is this: The Fed is not authorized to BUY anything other than those securities that have the full faith and credit of The United States.

In addition Ben Bernanke has repeatedly claimed that these deals would not cost anyone money.  But the current value looks differently:

    Assets in Maiden Lane II totaled $34.8 billion, according to the Fed, which set their current market value in its weekly balance sheet at $15.3 billion. That means Maiden Lane II assets are worth 44 cents on the dollar, or 44 percent of their face value, according to the Fed.

    Maiden Lane III, which has $56 billion of assets at face value, is worth $22.1 billion, or 39 cents on the dollar, according to the Fed’s weekly balance sheet. A similar calculation for the Bear Stearns portfolio couldn’t be made because of outstanding derivatives trades.

In other words, they have lost more than half of their value.

This was and remains a blatantly unlawful activity.


The Fed has effectively usurped Article 1 Section 7 of The Constituion which reads in part:

    All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

The Fed effectively appropriated taxpayer funds without authorization of Congress.  At the time these facilities were put in place neither TARP or any other Congressional authorization existed for them to do so, and to date no bill has been put through Congress authorizing the expenditure of taxpayer funds, either through putting them at risk or via outright expense, for this purpose.

31 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 05, 2010 at 2:22 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

The securities DID have the full faith and credit of the United States...AFTER it was realized these securities were about to bring down the entire financial system. I'm glad the Federal Reserve is run by academics who know how the financial system works, instead of idealistic ideologues (usually fundamentalist libertarians), using the system to obtain some utopian ideal of capitalism. Greenspan is a self-described Republican Libertarian and even he recognized the error of the excessive deregulation and laissez-faire attitude of his tenure. This blog posting is akin to complaining that an ambulance was going too fast on the road. The Federal Reserve took emergency action to stabilize the collapsing financial system! OH GOD NO! 

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#2) On April 05, 2010 at 7:51 AM, cashkid79 (94.34) wrote:

In my humble opinion, you have got to have BOTH perspectives in an almost vacuum like environment (no distractions - DISTRACTION ATTRACTION) coming from some entity with no monetary interests, i.e. detached/quixotic/no automatic preference for social order (<5% of harvard.edu sample group) to get a true view of where the cards lay ...

Academia is great, but it needs to be implemented in an EFFICIENT manner instead of losing money, sending out record numbers of rejection letters, etc., etc., etc... once the EXPERTS can be re-defined or we SYNERGISTICALLY implement some more technology and FORWARD momentum to 'DO IT BETTER ' ... then all this back and forth rhetoric about academia  vs dreamers vs whatever your own selfish agenda is a waste of time ... NO OFFENSE :>>

McNeese is a great institution - Dr. Adrian - good man (Dean C.O.B.), Dr Kim (Accounting / very smart) !!!

University of West Florida is a very great institution thanks to Dr Pace (financial / wall-street / brilliant) & Dr Hawkins (economics dept. head) -- two of my favorites (A's in BOTH)  haha

Everyone lighten up a little now and then, pressure cooking isn't a strategy that is going to work out long term until timing comes into play... 

Liprie, TP

 

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#3) On April 05, 2010 at 9:27 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

BetapegLLC,

>>The securities DID have the full faith and credit of the United States...AFTER it was realized these securities were about to bring down the entire financial system.

.... and how long did it take to find out what was on the Fed's balance sheet in this regard? And there is still a LOT more of what the Fed is holding that we have no insight to. You and I can argue whether this was "good" or not, but the The fact that it was undisclosed and moreover secret for so long is illegal.

>>I'm glad the Federal Reserve is run by academics who know how the financial system works

Yeah .... me too (sarcasm): Debt Saturation - http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?bpid=357428

>>This blog posting is akin to complaining that an ambulance was going too fast on the road. The Federal Reserve took emergency action to stabilize the collapsing financial system!

You know what, I will even agree with you that this is the case. The Fed did take emergency action. To save the financial system. But the fact that it had to is the crux of the problem (that itself had put into motion years before). So your analogy is more apt is the ambulance is going to fast on a road, but they guy that they picked up was somebody the ambulance ran over because they were going too fast...

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#4) On April 05, 2010 at 9:35 AM, jdlech (< 20) wrote:

Greenspan only admitted the flaw in his rampant libertarianism long, long after the damage was done and he no longer had any vested interest in defending his ideology.  By that same standard, we could expect the most egregious crimes and mismanagement from current politicians and admissions only from those well into retirement.

I chafe at the idea that the Govt. sealed records from the Kennedy era only to open them long after it expected prominent players wold be retired and/or deceased.  Timing is everything.  If there is to be any accounting, it must be while the person is in office, while that person is alive, while that person can be punished for his crime or mismanagement - not years or decades later when it no longer matters.

I'm all for deregulation.  But the S&L crisis, Enron, and now the Sub-prime mortgage debacle proves that every time we deregulate, we need oversight.  Someone needs to watch over things and blow the whistle when they get out of hand.  It's a 'hands off' approach to watching over the recently deregulated.

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#5) On April 05, 2010 at 9:54 AM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

jdlech,

Does rampant libertarianism include bailing out Long Term Capital Management, running a centrally planned monetary system, and regulating every aspect of the banking sector?

David in Qatar

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#6) On April 05, 2010 at 11:32 AM, russiangambit (29.45) wrote:

> I'm glad the Federal Reserve is run by academics who know how the financial system works, instead of idealistic ideologues (usually fundamentalist libertarians), using the system to obtain some utopian ideal of capitalism.

I atually don't belong to libertarian camp as such, but rather to the pragmatic camp. I hate ot overspend or waste money, it is just a part of who I am.  FED is not accountable to anyone other than its member banks, and it should not be in a position of taking emergency actions to save the financial system, Congress should be. Congress is accountable , sort-of, to the american people and it should be the one taking emergency measures or should delegate such accountability to the Treasury. Otherwise, we get lack of accountability all around, and as a result there is waste and corruption everywhere. FED and Treasury keep playing good cop/ bad cop thing, where in reality they should be one and the same. FED essentially usurped the power and most of americans are too ignorant to realize it. And those who understand it and could do something about it, are bought stock and barrell and chose to look the other way.

 

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#7) On April 05, 2010 at 11:43 AM, cashkid79 (94.34) wrote:

i agree with it all but that last sentence >> can't put people in boxes / be prejudice ... the status quo is not always a reliable indicator of actual representation ...

Liprie, TP

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#8) On April 05, 2010 at 11:57 AM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

LMAO @ Betapeg,

Your ambulance analogy would only work if the ambulance ran over a healthy person first, then sped him off to the hospital, hitting every bump on the way, misdiagnosed his illness, prescribed the wrong medication, and then was appaled when the patient wasn't thankful that he only suffered internal bleeding and massive trauma.

David in Qatar

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#9) On April 05, 2010 at 4:26 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

Binve,

".... and how long did it take to find out what was on the Fed's balance sheet in this regard? And there is still a LOT more of what the Fed is holding that we have no insight to. You and I can argue whether this was "good" or not, but the The fact that it was undisclosed and moreover secret for so long is illegal."

It's not illegal. Name the law. The FDIC also has a policy of secrecy concerning banks they are about to take over. There is a reason for that. Prevent a bank run. If everything the Federal Reserve did was known in real-time, for 'transparency', negative news would cause runs in the stock market, etc. 

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"You know what, I will even agree with you that this is the case. The Fed did take emergency action. To save the financial system. But the fact that it had to is the crux of the problem (that itself had put into motion years before). So your analogy is more apt is the ambulance is going to fast on a road, but they guy that they picked up was somebody the ambulance ran over because they were going too fast..."

No, don't change my analogy. You are complaining about a speeding ambulance breaking traffic laws so they can get a patient to the hospital. You are complaining about the Federal Reserve taking unorthodox emergency measures to prevent not just a recession or bear market, but a total collapse of the financial system. It's not going to be pretty but at least appreciate where are today because of it. Could they have done things different? Yes, but that's in retrospect. Everything you say is in retrospect.  

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#10) On April 05, 2010 at 4:38 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

RussianGambit.

"I atually don't belong to libertarian camp as such, but rather to the pragmatic camp. I hate ot overspend or waste money, it is just a part of who I am.  FED is not accountable to anyone other than its member banks, and it should not be in a position of taking emergency actions to save the financial system, Congress should be. Congress is accountable , sort-of, to the american people and it should be the one taking emergency measures or should delegate such accountability to the Treasury. Otherwise, we get lack of accountability all around, and as a result there is waste and corruption everywhere. FED and Treasury keep playing good cop/ bad cop thing, where in reality they should be one and the same. FED essentially usurped the power and most of americans are too ignorant to realize it. And those who understand it and could do something about it, are bought stock and barrell and chose to look the other way." 

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And what is this "pragmatic camp" called, that you belong to?

The Federal Reserve is accountable. Haven't you watch the Fed chairman being grilled by Congressional committees on CSPAN? Or what about the President booting out the Chairman at the end of his term if he so chooses? I'm surprised you'd rather of Congress manage monetary policy decisions, when they are hardly competent to know how to read a financial statement, much less control interest rates. 

I'm not even going to address your baseless assertions of the Federal Reserve being guilty of corruption and sedition.  

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#11) On April 05, 2010 at 4:40 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

whereaminow,

"Your ambulance analogy would only work if the ambulance ran over a healthy person first, then sped him off to the hospital, hitting every bump on the way, misdiagnosed his illness, prescribed the wrong medication, and then was appaled when the patient wasn't thankful that he only suffered internal bleeding and massive trauma." 

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No, I think it works as is, and you guys should stop trying to twist it into something completely different from its original intent as if doing so some how proves me wrong. It doesn't.

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#12) On April 05, 2010 at 4:53 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

BetapegLLC ,

No, don't change my analogy. You are complaining about a speeding ambulance breaking traffic laws so they can get a patient to the hospital. You are complaining about the Federal Reserve taking unorthodox emergency measures to prevent not just a recession or bear market, but a total collapse of the financial system. It's not going to be pretty but at least appreciate where are today because of it. Could they have done things different? Yes, but that's in retrospect. Everything you say is in retrospect. 

You seem to think that the Fed has the authority to act any way it seems fit in the middle of a financial crisis. That was your analogy. Ambulances running red lights and driving fast in an emergency.

So *absolutely* I am calling you on that analogy. Because it is the Fed's recklessness that ensured the crisis of 2007-2009 to begin with!! The Fed **DOES NOT** get a free pass on taking "whatever actions it deemed necessary" in a financial crisis that it caused to begin with!..

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#13) On April 05, 2010 at 4:59 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

LMFAO @ BetapegLLC,

According to him, our wise rulers at the Fed know exactly what to do to fix the economy, despte having exactly no idea that it was in bad shape in the first place.  ROFL @ complete idiocy.

Go to Youtube and seach for a video called "Bernanke in Denial."  As you watch it - a video of Bernanke praising our economy and various industries throughout 2007-2008 - think about Betapeg's hilarious assertion that we should be blessed to have such wise technocrats in charge of our economy.

I just might p*ss myself.

David in Qatar

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#14) On April 05, 2010 at 5:02 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

Hey BetaPeg,

In 1920, the economy contracted at a sharper rate than 1929-1930.  The money supply shrunk and the deficit was slashed and the bad assets were allowed to be liquidated by market forces.  The economy recovered in 18 months.

How did this happen?  Can you explain it?

The Fed did nothing. The government did nothing. Yet the economy recovered. 

How?

David in Qatar

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#15) On April 05, 2010 at 5:05 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

By the way, we're approaching 18 months for this one, and we still are nowhere near a full recoverey, even if you ask the most State-loving bootlicking hack economists out there.  Even they qualify their recovery statements?

Why hasn't this economy recovered with massive monetary expansion, massive deficit spending, and wise technocrats in charge?

Why is this recovery taking longer than 1920-1921?

Thanks for not answering as I know you won't.  You'll attack ideology, it was a different era, yadda yadda yadda.

At least bring in a new playbook for this one.  You bore me sometimes.

David in Qatar

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#16) On April 05, 2010 at 5:11 PM, bigcat1969 (93.31) wrote:

Good fight!  On a side note, I've read that the Fed did not pay face value for the junk in the assorted Maiden Lanes and so has not lost nearly as much money as we are tossing around?  Any of you have any knowledge of this pro or con?

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#17) On April 05, 2010 at 6:21 PM, Option1307 (29.97) wrote:

Does rampant libertarianism include bailing out Long Term Capital Management, running a centrally planned monetary system, and regulating every aspect of the banking sector?

Ha ha ha! I know Greenspan claimed he was a libertarian etc. but his actions were far from it.

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#18) On April 06, 2010 at 1:10 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

whereaminow,

"According to him, our wise rulers at the Fed know exactly what to do to fix the economy, despte having exactly no idea that it was in bad shape in the first place.  ROFL @ complete idiocy."

Pathetic ad hominem.

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"Go to Youtube and seach for a video called "Bernanke in Denial."  As you watch it - a video of Bernanke praising our economy and various industries throughout 2007-2008 - think about Betapeg's hilarious assertion that we should be blessed to have such wise technocrats in charge of our economy."

In retrospect, you're pissy about Bernanke not knowing at that moment how bad the economy was. Nice. 

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"In 1920, the economy contracted at a sharper rate than 1929-1930.  The money supply shrunk and the deficit was slashed and the bad assets were allowed to be liquidated by market forces.  The economy recovered in 18 months. How did this happen?  Can you explain it? The Fed did nothing. The government did nothing. Yet the economy recovered. "

The 1919-1921 recession was caused by a transition from a war-time economy, not a collapse of the financial system. It should be obvious to you why the economy recovered, in tandem, with the Federal Reserve lowering interests from the highest levels to be seen until the 1970's. 

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"By the way, we're approaching 18 months for this one, and we still are nowhere near a full recoverey, even if you ask the most State-loving bootlicking hack economists out there.  Even they qualify their recovery statements? Why hasn't this economy recovered with massive monetary expansion, massive deficit spending, and wise technocrats in charge? Why is this recovery taking longer than 1920-1921?"

I dunno, maybe because we just endured the most severe recession since 1933???? I don't think it matters if Bernanke walked on water, you'de still say, he couldn't swim. 

 

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#19) On April 06, 2010 at 1:30 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

binve,

"You seem to think that the Fed has the authority to act any way it seems fit in the middle of a financial crisis. That was your analogy. Ambulances running red lights and driving fast in an emergency."

Uh no. The ambulance runs red lights because there is an emergency it is responding to. The Federal Reserve did the same. The ambulance isn't breaking the law by speeding through red lights because it's authorized to do so, and neither did the Fed when it took the actions it took. 

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"So *absolutely* I am calling you on that analogy. Because it is the Fed's recklessness that ensured the crisis of 2007-2009 to begin with!! The Fed **DOES NOT** get a free pass on taking "whatever actions it deemed necessary" in a financial crisis that it caused to begin with!.."

I am not giving the Fed a free pass. I readily admit Greenspan's laissez-faire policies contributed considerably to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. I am still dissatisfied at the lack of transparency and regulation of the derivatives market which was at the heart of this downturn. But I certainly don't give a free pass to the irrational markets as you and whereaminow do. I understand the irrationality of markets and their tendency to irrational things. You two seem not too. 

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#20) On April 06, 2010 at 1:46 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

BetapegLLC,

The ambulance isn't breaking the law by speeding through red lights because it's authorized to do so, and neither did the Fed when it took the actions it took.

Again. I have to point out that your analogy is flawed.

The ambulance is responding to an emergency *that it did NOT cause*. That was why I restated your analogy above in comment #3.

But even that is wrong. A much better analogy is the the Fed is more like an arsonist who starts a fire and then shows up to help put the fire out. Whether negligent or incompetent, this is exactly what the Fed did. It started a fire with easy money policies in the 1990s and 2000s and we got the Great Financial Fire of 2007-2008 as a direct consequence of these actions.

So again, I call your analogy flawed, and the Fed *DOES NOT* have legal authority to buy assets at non-market values and then monetize that debt (which the US taxpayer will pay for in currency devaluation) all in the name of stabilizing a financial crisis that itself set in motion.

Either way, I know we are never going to agree on this point. We are now repeating ourselves and I am done with this conversation with you..

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#21) On April 06, 2010 at 10:19 AM, russiangambit (29.45) wrote:

> The Federal Reserve is accountable. Haven't you watch the Fed chairman being grilled by Congressional committees on CSPAN? Or what about the President booting out the Chairman at the end of his term if he so chooses?

I see it from time to time and it is useless beause it is just a show . Int he end they cannot do anything. The only one who can influence the FED is the president. And we don't see the president talking about the FED, do we? All he can do is to appoint the chairman and then it is completely hands off. There is no ongoing accountability until the chairman's term ends and it is a long one. 

Where does it say in the FED's charter that they can participate in the markets with "money" cerated out of thin air? Thir charter is to keep inflation under control, which they failed to do, instead they encouraged tinkering with CPI to show what they want it to show. They faield to keep unmeployement low. Though, I grant it, it is not even in their control. The economic policy is in the hands of the executive branch and this is where the unmeployment control responsibility should be. But did FED ever come out and say so? No. Because it is all hidden from us, deals and neogitations with the government and treasury and other foreign banks all behind our back, all hidden.

> I'm surprised you'd rather of Congress manage monetary policy decisions, when they are hardly competent to know how to read a financial statement, much less control interest rates.

What do they say - ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law? If our Congess is so ignorant it is unable to run the country or our monetary system is so complicated it cannot be explained in simple terms so that average person can understand, then there is something wrong with the system and the Congess. I can take the most complex math theorem and explain it to you in simple terms. It is a talent of mine to make complex things simple. Everything that is logical can be made simple. The only things that cannot be made simple are the falwed things, with flawed logic, things that hide untruths behind the complexity. When you pick them apart the flaws are exposed. I don't think monetary theory is anywhere is complex as the high math or quantum physics. People just make it appear so to keep the public ignorant and confused. 

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#22) On April 06, 2010 at 12:17 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

What'a scholarly response from Betapeg!  Look at it folks. This is the nonsense of the Technocrat.  And I think he's just a technocrat wannabe.  

Below is Tom Woods, graduate from Harvard in Economics and PhD from Columbia in History and New York Times bestselling author of Meltdown, explaining why you've never heard of the Great Depression of 1920-1921.  I want you to think about how stupid Betapeg sounds compared to Mr. Woods.

Sorry, there is no video embed. You have to click here.

As for Bernanke, OH MY FREAKING GOD, watch the video retard.  He's not just a little off on timing moron. He is completely freaking clueless.

HAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHA, Betapeg is so clueless it's funny!

David in Qatar

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#23) On April 06, 2010 at 12:19 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

So yeah, I think my ambulance analogy works a lot better than yours.  You are too cute.

David in Qatar

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#24) On April 06, 2010 at 5:02 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

Binve, 

The cause of the recession is debatable. Fine. But you are accusing the Federal Reserve of a criminal act. Okay. Prove it. Show the law. Because the government is the one who decides what is legal and what is not. And the government authorized the Federal Reserve to act as it did.

I am not anywhere close to giving a free pass to the Fed as you, and especially whereaminow, give to the markets. It's like blaming the government/police for all traffic accidents, instead of drivers themselves.  

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#25) On April 06, 2010 at 5:15 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

RussianGambit,

"I see it from time to time and it is useless beause it is just a show . Int he end they cannot do anything. The only one who can influence the FED is the president. And we don't see the president talking about the FED, do we? All he can do is to appoint the chairman and then it is completely hands off. There is no ongoing accountability until the chairman's term ends and it is a long one. "

If the government really wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve, they would. There is accountability. It is the government itself that authorized the creation of the Federal Reserve, so this notion that it is a rogue agency run by evil private bankers (probably Jews *sarcasm*), is ridiculous. Fortunately, the Congress realizes it's incompetent in regards to the 24/7 practice of monetary policy, and the need for such policy to be set apart from party politics. 

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"Where does it say in the FED's charter that they can participate in the markets with "money" cerated out of thin air? Thir charter is to keep inflation under control, which they failed to do, instead they encouraged tinkering with CPI to show what they want it to show. They faield to keep unmeployement low. Though, I grant it, it is not even in their control. The economic policy is in the hands of the executive branch and this is where the unmeployment control responsibility should be. But did FED ever come out and say so? No. Because it is all hidden from us, deals and neogitations with the government and treasury and other foreign banks all behind our back, all hidden."

In their capacity as the lender of last resort, the Fed must be able to buy and sell more than just treasury bonds. Once the crisis is over, then they should return to buying/selling only government bonds, I'de agree with that. Show me where in their charter they are prohibited from doing this?

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"What do they say - ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law? If our Congess is so ignorant it is unable to run the country or our monetary system is so complicated it cannot be explained in simple terms so that average person can understand, then there is something wrong with the system and the Congess. I can take the most complex math theorem and explain it to you in simple terms. It is a talent of mine to make complex things simple. Everything that is logical can be made simple. The only things that cannot be made simple are the falwed things, with flawed logic, things that hide untruths behind the complexity. When you pick them apart the flaws are exposed. I don't think monetary theory is anywhere is complex as the high math or quantum physics. People just make it appear so to keep the public ignorant and confused. " 

So you are telling me that an economy with hundreds of millions of participants, exchanging trillions of dollars worth of goods, is not complex? Every one is human, and makes mistakes, but that still doesn't mean anybody but a heart surgeon should do heart surgery. Just because somebody was able to watch a few youtube videos and read wikipedia articles, doesn't mean they can conduct monetary policy, or heart surgery... ;-)

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#26) On April 06, 2010 at 5:17 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

whereaminow,

I won't be responding to your pathetic ad hominem arguments. 

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#27) On April 06, 2010 at 10:33 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

Beta,

This argument isn't about me and you so I could care less. You came out and stated that you would ....LOL.... take down Libertarianism at every opportunity.  You're a tool.

I just really enjoy f*cking with you, especially when you say stupid sh*t.

David in Qatar

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#28) On April 06, 2010 at 11:57 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

You are a prime example of the wing nut lunacy that is American libertarianism. 9/11 truthers, tax cheats, fake intellectuals, and survivalist in-breds. What a shame. 

http://sethf.com/essays/major/libstupid.php 

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#29) On April 08, 2010 at 5:32 PM, whereaminow (46.24) wrote:

Awe, Beta found Google Searches.  I've never seen this post before.  Even though it's 13 years old.  I'm sure no one has ever responded.  I am so completely blown away.

David in Qatar

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#30) On April 19, 2010 at 12:59 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

Are you done? Or does Jimmy need a time-out?

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#31) On April 19, 2010 at 2:29 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

#1 Why don't you contact the attorney general and get him to criminally prosecute the Federal Reserve, since you're so sure they are guilty of breaking the law. 

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