For very good reasons I have changed one word in the title of an editorial in the
- Ph.D. in Economics, University of Chicago; M.A. in Economics, University of Chicago; M.A. in Economics, Roosevelt University
Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan's Bank is a newly released book from the University of Texas Press by Robert Auerbach, Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. He served for eleven years as economist for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services (renamed the "Financial Services" Committee) assisting chairman/ranking member Henry B. Gonzalez carrying out oversight functions of the nation's central bank led by Alan Greenspan.
The Federal Reserve-the central bank of the United States-is the most powerful peacetime bureaucracy in the federal government. Under the chairmanship of Alan Greenspan (1987-2006), the Fed achieved near mythical status for its part in managing the economy, and Greenspan was lauded as a genius. Few seemed to notice or care that Fed officials operated secretly with almost no individual accountability. There was a courageous exception to this lack of oversight: Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX)-chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services (banking) Committee.
In Deception and Abuse at the Fed, Robert Auerbach, a former banking committee investigator, reveals major instances of Fed mismanagement and abuse of power that were exposed by Rep. Gonzalez, including:
- Blocking Congress and the public from holding powerful Fed officials accountable by falsely declaring-for 17 years-it had no transcripts of its meetings;
- Manipulating the stock and bond markets in 1994 under cover of a preemptive strike against inflation;
- Allowing $5.5 billion to be sent to Saddam Hussein from a small Atlanta branch of a foreign bank-the result of faulty bank examination practices by the Fed;
- Stonewalling Congressional investigations and misleading the Washington Post about the $6,300 found on the Watergate burglars.
Auerbach provides documentation of these and other serious abuses at the Fed, that confirms Rep. Gonzalez's belief that no government agency should be allowed to operate with the secrecy and independence in which the Federal Reserve has shrouded itself. Auerbach concludes with recommendations for specific, broad-ranging reforms that will make the Fed accountable to the government and the people of the United States.
Robert Auerbach was an economist with the House banking committee during the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen: Arthur Burns, William Miller, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan. Auerbach also served as an economist in the U.S. Treasury's Office of Domestic Monetary Affairs during the first year of the Ronald Reagan administration and as a financial economist with the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Auerbach has been a professor of economics at the American University in Washington, D.C. (1976-83), and a professor of economics and finance at the University of California-Riverside (1983-93). He has written numerous articles, and two textbooks in banking and financial markets. He received two Masters degrees in economics, one from the University of Chicago and one from Roosevelt University, where he studied under Abba Lerner, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Milton Friedman.
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- Federal Reserve operations
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