“Why Did the Fed Bail Out the Bank of Libya?” and Other Questions for Mr. Bernanke

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will give his first in a series of regular press conferences tomorrow. Journalists will be allowed to ask questions.

As Robert D. Auerbach – an economist with the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee for eleven years, assisting with oversight of the Federal Reserve, and subsequently Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin – notes, the press conferences are simply a p.r. ploy, and “will not remedy the fed’s corrupt and deceptive public records policies.”

But some people have suggested some questions for Mr. Bernanke. For example, Senator Sanders asks:

Why Did the Fed Bail Out the Bank of Libya?

A simple yet powerful question is:

Please list the banks and other entities and individuals which own the Federal Reserve, and their percentage of ownership.

Another interesting question might be:

Mr. Bernanke, you have previously admitted that the Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression. Do you think the Fed caused the Great Recession, given that the Fed:
  • Acted as cheerleader in chief for unregulated use of derivatives at least as far back as 1999 (see this and this)
  • Allowed the giant banks to grow into mega-banks, even though most independent economists and financial experts say that the economy will not recover until the giant banks are broken up. For example, Citigroup’s former chief executive says that when Citigroup was formed in 1998 out of the merger of banking and insurance giants, Greenspan told him, “I have nothing against size. It doesn’t bother me at all”
  • Preached that a new bubble be blown every time the last one bursts
  • Kept interest rates too low?

Here are some other good questions from Senator Sanders and Tyler Durden.

And in 2009, I wrote a long series of questions for Bernanke’s Senate confirmation hearing. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, and so the questions are still relevant today.

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