Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Audit The Fed Bill Already Neutered In The Senate?

HR 1207’s Senate version, S. 896, has been severely watered down, according to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley named the top Republican on the Banking Committee, Richard Shelby, Sen. from Alabama, as the man pouring the water.

As reported by the Huffington Post, handwritten notes in the margins of S. 896 include the amendment “with respect to a single and specific partnership or corporation”. This qualification severely limits the “scope of the oversight.”

Grassley wanted the Federal Reserve audit to include all of the ‘Feds Emergency Actions under 13(3).’ However, as limited as that type of audit would be, this amended version of HR 1207 won’t even have that level of authority. Grassley states “it does not threaten monetary policy independence.”

S. 896 appears to have a very narrow scope or focus, which could narrow even further in conference committee negotiations. Currently the limited scope is listed here:

1. Actions related to Bear Stearns and its acquisition by JP Morgan Chase, including:

    a. Loan To Facilitate the Acquisition of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. by JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Maiden Lane I)

    b. Bridge Loan to The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. Through JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

2. Bank of America — Authorization to Provide Residual Financing to Bank of America

Corporation Relating to a Designated Asset Pool (taken in conjunction with FDIC and


3. Citigroup — Authorization to Provide Residual Financing to Citigroup, Inc., for a

Designated Asset Pool (taken in conjunction with FDIC and Treasury)

4. Various actions to stabilize American International Group (AIG), including a revolving

line of credit provided by the Federal Reserve as well as several credit facilities (listed

below). AIG has also received equity from Treasury, through the TARP, which would also

be captured in amendment #1020.

    a. Secured Credit Facility Authorized for American International Group, Inc., on September

    16, 2008

    b. Restructuring of the Government’s Financial Support to American International Group,

    Inc., on November 10, 2008 (Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III)

    c. Restructuring of the Government’s Financial Support to American International Group,

    Inc., on March 2, 2009

5. TALF — finally, amendment #1020 would expand GAO’s authority to oversee the TARP,

including the joint Federal Reserve-Treasury Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility


*Neither* Amendment #1021 nor #1020 would include short-term liquidity facilities:

1. Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

2. (AMLF)

3. Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF)

4. Money Market Investor Funding Facility (MMIFF)

5. Primary Dealer Credit Facility and Other Credit for Broker-Dealers (PDCF)

6. Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF)

View photos (5) of the Handwritten notes on S. 896 Here.



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