Talking Economic Accountability With Rep. Alan Grayson
Please welcome Rep. Alan Grayson in the comments. And don’t forget to reward good behavior — you can donate to Rep. Grayson’s campaign here — jh
You probably know Alan Grayson for his greatest hits collection on YouTube. It was his questioning of Fed Vice Chair Donald Kohn that alerted the public to the fact that the Fed had a $1.2 trillion slush fund, and they wouldn’t reveal where the money was going. Then there was his famous grilling of Citi’s Vikram Pandit, where he called the deal made with Citi "the worst deal since Manhattan was sold for $24 in trinkets."
There are a lot of big outstanding questions about the banking crisis, and the best way to handle it. Is there any way to save the system without shoveling a bazillion dollars to the bankers who destroyed it? How do we reduce the influence of banking lobbyists who still seem to be in charge of writing our legislation? What regulatory changes to the system need to be made, and is there any appetite to do what needs to be done? And now that everyone from Chris Dodd to Richard Shelby to Bernie Sanders is on Donald Kohn’s case, is there any chance the Fed will cough up the list of banks it has been shoveling cash to?
Rep. Grayson has been looking into the dicey transactions of Maiden Lane, the "bad banks" set up by the Fed so AIG and Bear Stearns could unload their toxic assets. A lot of people are getting rich because the situation is as complicated as it is opaque. And he’s one of the few people demanding real answers, rather than simply scolding bankers during hearings before cashing their checks.
There really doesn’t seem to be any limit to the brazen lawlessness of these bankers who have been told they’re "too big to fail" and thus accountable to no one. This morning, Citi was manipulating stock ratings for political purposes, and Pandit made up a bunch of earnings so the stock shot up.
We hope to talk about all that and possibly more as we welcome Rep. Grayson to FDL.
And, don’t forget: Tell members of Congress that you want them to take action. We will be delivering your comments to Congress in the coming week.