Saturday, March 29, 2008

Is giving the 'Fed' MORE power really the answer?

I am troubled a little bit by this article I found on yahoo:

Bush seeks financial regulation overhaul

The article talks about something I've heard here and there over the last couple of weeks. It seems that the Power's that be, namely Bush and some, in my opinion naive Democrats are pushing to give the Federal Reserve Board more Power than it already has. Included in the powers and general changes that they are planning to make include:

  • The Fed, would become a "market stability regulator," giving it the power to check the books not just of commercial banks but of all segments of the financial services industry.
  • The proposal would shut down the Office of Thrift Supervision and transfer its functions to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates nationally chartered banks.
  • The plan would consolidate the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates stock trading, into the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures trades for oil, grains and various other commodities.
  • The plan would create a national regulator for the insurance industry (my industry*), which is now largely governed by the states (The Ohio Department of Insurance to be specific). So instead of state regulated insurance industries it would be one National Insurance department.
  • It would create a mortgage Origination Commission
  • "The role Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues have been playing to shore up the financial system would be formalized in the administration plan by giving Fed officials greater power to detect where threats might be lurking in the system." - not sure I like this at all - what exactly are those 'greater' powers and what else will the Fed - an entity that has no checks or balances on it - be able to detect?

SO basically after the past year, or at least 6 months of a dramatically declining market and economy based mainly on latent effects of the Federal Reserves actions - we are planning to give the Federal Reserve MORE power for putting the American economy on a Collision-course with a recession that many fear has already arrived?

I personally think this is ludicrous, the other thing is I think Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and all the Power's that be who whisper in his ear have done a major disservice (at least in the long run) to the American Public but cutting interest rates so dramatically in such a short term. The fast decline of short term interest rates I believe will only serve to increase inflation dramatically over the long run.

Overall what I mean is by making money cheaper for banks in the short-term you also cheapen the American dollar in the long term for those who have less buying power as it is already. Think of the recent increase in the cost of bread, milk, and other commodities. Furthermore by giving so much power and influence to a part of economic system that is not elected by the people seems to say to me that only the elite and well-connected will have any say in the future if problems arise and they will likely only make changes that help the wealthy out rather than the bulk of America which is the lower-class (a growing Majority) and the middle-class (a shrinking minority).

Bottom line, if you were to ask me if the FED needs More power - I would without a doubt say 'NO THEY DO NOT!'

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