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Julie Borowski: Auditing the Federal Reserve is More Urgent Than Ever

No government institution is more secretive than the Federal Reserve. Believe it or not, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is more transparent than the central bank of the United States. This is a huge cause for concern as the Fed dramatically affects the lives of every single American.

The Fed has never been fully audited in its nearly 100-year history. The American people only got a small glimpse of what happens behind closed doors last July. A watered-down audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed $16 trillion in Fed bailouts to banks and corporations around the world at the height of the recent financial crisis.

To put that gigantic number in perspective, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States is roughly $15.09 trillion. This means that all of the Fed’s liabilities in a couple years time frame were worth more than the total annual economic activity within the United States.

These bailouts were so secret that even Congress had no idea. Besides the Fed chairman periodically testifying before congressional committees to create the illusion of transparency, members of Congress are not privy to the inner workings of the central bank, let alone the general public.