Federal Reserve Official Donates to Clinton Campaign

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, contributed $750 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign earlier this cycle. Bloomberg Politics reports: While Fed officials sometimes identify with either major political party, donations to a presidential candidate by a senior policy maker are unusual, particularly at a time when the central bank is trying to guard its independence from politics. The Fed’s authority has been criticized during the campaign, and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have questioned decisions about regulation and monetary policy. […] Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican who heads the Senate Banking

Rand Paul Likens Fed to Soviet Politburo After Interest Rate Increase

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced that it was raising interest rates for the first time in seven years. Surprisingly, longtime critic of zero interest rates Senator Rand Paul skipped the expected sigh of relief, instead expanding his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s role in setting the value of money: “Is it a good thing or a bad thing to raise the interest rate?” Paul asked. “Well, I’m kind of agnostic on it. It’s kind of like if you ask me: All right, should the Politburo raise the price of bread or lower the price of bread? I like both

Cruz Questions Yellen on Fed Policy

Ralph, you noted this first, but this New York Sun editorial is worth a closer look. In a glowing column Friday, the Sun praised Ted Cruz for his astute questioning of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in last week’s Joint Economic Committee hearing, and in particular for focusing on the effectiveness of having a monetary rule verses current Fed policy: The key question Mr. Cruz asked is whether Mrs. Yellen agrees with her predecessor Paul Volcker that the absence of a cooperatively managed rules-based monetary system has not been a great success. Mr. Volcker offered that assessment in a speech

Game Changer: House Confronts Fed Chair Janet Yellen

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Paul Ryan House took its most impressive step yet in advancing Speaker Ryan’s (R-Wis.) promised transformation of our political culture.  Ryan, in accepting the gavel, declared, “Here’s the problem. They’re working hard. They’re paying a lot. They are trying to do right by their families. And they are going nowhere fast. They never get a raise. They never get a break. But the bills keep piling up—and the taxes and the debt. They are working harder than ever to get ahead. Yet they are falling further behind. And they feel robbed—cheated of their birthright. They

House Passes Historic Legislation Exercising Authority Over Federal Reserve

In a historic vote this morning of 241-185, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3189, the Federal Oversight Reform and Modernization Act. The FORM Act — very much including Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) Centennial Monetary Commission legislation — is the most important legislation to pass the House addressing the Fed’s performance since the Humphrey-Hawkins Act of 1978, almost forty years ago. The passage of this legislation is historic. The American economy has been stagnant now for 15 years. Many believe that the booms, busts, the panic of 2008, the Great Recession, and the sluggish recovery were caused in major part by

Fed Reform Battle Heats Up in Congress

A new bill seeking to increase oversight on the Federal Reserve and force it to endorse a rule will likely come up in the House this week, kicking the debate over U.S. monetary policy into high gear: The bill, called the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act — FORM Act for short — deals with a lot of issues relating to the Fed’s management of U.S. monetary policy, but one element of the bill will receive most of the attention and commentary by monetary policy specialists. This is the bill’s requirement that the Fed publish a rule that would, in