A G.O.P. Takeover of the Senate Would Mean More Scrutiny of the Fed?

A G.O.P. Takeover of the Senate Would Mean More Scrutiny of the Fed?

Nasdaq.com published an article by Victoria McGrane of Dow Business News that argued that a G.O.P. takeover of the Senate today would pressure the federal government to “put the Fed under the microscope”. As evidence, Ms. McGrane quoted Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America:

If the Republicans take control of the Senate and thus have control of both the House and the Senate–two words for the Federal Reserve: Watch out.

McGrane also noted that, under a Republican-led Senate, Federal Reserve-foe Richard Shelby of Alabama would likely become the next chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the Fed:

Mr. Shelby is no fan of the Fed. He has been sharply critical of its regulatory performance in the run-up to the crisis. As the top Republican on the banking panel after the crisis, he supported stripping the central bank of its bank-supervision authority when Congress was writing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul law. He voted against Janet Yellen to be Fed chief, citing her support for the Fed’s bond-buying programs and his concerns that they could spark runaway inflation and other economic problems.

We shall see. Lest we forget that:

  • Regardless of the party in control, the federal government will continue to compel the Fed to monetize debt to help keep the government solvent.
  • Republicans were in control when Glass-Stegall Legislation was repealed. The three co-sponsors of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which repealed Glass–Steagall, were Republicans.
  • A Republican president, Ronald Reagan, nominated Alan Greenspan for Fed Chairman. Greenspan’s Fed engineered the bubble/burst economic paradigm that has contributed to the economic malaise we’ve been experiencing in the new millennium.
  • A Republican president, George W. Bush, nominated Ben Bernanke for Fed Chairman. Bernanke’s Fed continued Greenspan’s interventionist monetary policies and increased them significantly in the wake of the financial crisis.

The Washington Post predicts that Republicans will hold the House and take the Senate today. We can only hope that, should the G.O.P. take control of Washington, they would indeed place the Fed under the microscope.

Seth Mason, Charleston SC

This post was written by
Seth Mason is the Founder and Executive Director of Solidus.Center. Additionally, he's the owner of Lowcountry Vistas (LowcountryVistas.com), a landscape design and installation business that serves the greater Charleston, SC area and Charleston Spanish Tutor (CharlestonSpanishTutor.com), a Charleston-based tutoring service.
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