This is what I call “solidarity.” Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Leo Gerard, President of the Steelworkers Union, all signed a letter with economists, labor leaders, and bloggers blasting Rep. Mel Watt’s amendment to gut the audit of the Federal Reserve.
Alan Grayson and Ron Paul have teamed up on a proposal calling for a full audit of the Fed, and they have the support of nearly three-quarters of Congress. But in a last minute power play by the big banks, Rep. Mel Watt will dutifully offer an amendment to not only gut the audit, but make the Fed even more secretive.
Trumka, Stern, and Gerard teamed up economists Bill Black and Jamie Galbraith and blogger Tyler Durden, among others, against Watt’s amendment and accused the Fed of “massive secret bailouts” and “cronyism and favoritism.” Their letter says:
The Federal Reserve balance sheet expanded to more than $2 trillion, along with implied and explicit backstops to Wall Street firms that could cost even more. Who received the money? Against what collateral? On what terms and conditions? The only way to find out is through a complete audit of the Federal Reserve. That’s why we support the Paul-Grayson amendment requiring a complete audit.
The Watt amendment does not repeal the existing provisions that prohibit a GAO audit of the Federal Reserve. In fact, it adds entirely new additional categories of restrictions. Instead of opening up the Fed’s secretive activities to public inspection, the Watt amendment cloaks it in further secrecy.
A vote for the Watt amendment is a vote for more secret bailouts. We urge you to support Paul-Grayson instead.
For labor leaders who don’t often see eye-to-eye, this letter (PDF) from Trumka, Stern, and Gerard is a pretty remarkable indictment of the Fed, the big banks, and their enablers in Congress. Add in the economists and bloggers and you have pretty strong opposition to the Watt amendment.