The Senate voted today to pass an amendment sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ that will require a review of the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending activities. The amendment passed 96-0. During the 2008 financial crisis, "large financial institutions received tillions of dollars in zero or near-zero interest loans," said Sanders. "Who received those loans and under what terms? It is time we had transparency at the Fed so that the American people know what our central bank is doing." This amendment does just that — it provides greater transparency of the Federal Reserve, while it also shields the Fed from unnecessary intrusion into its monetary policymaking. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will now have full authority to audit the Federal Reserve’s non-monetary functions, including:
- Conduct financial audits
- Audit the Fed’s supervision and regulation of financial firms
- Audit all of the assistance provided under section 13(3), including the loans to AIG and Bear Stearns
"If we’re going to protect our economy and middle-class Americans, we have to know what happened to cause the recent financial crisis so that history never repeats itself," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.