Adrianne Appel points out that:
The U.S. Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury have doled out trillions in taxpayer dollars to banks and corporations and now the boom may be falling on what lawmakers say is a shroud of secrecy that surrounds their actions.
In separate hearings on Capitol Hill this week, lawmakers expressed support for a bill to make the Fed's decisions more transparent, and for the findings of a special inspector general report that calls for greater transparency in the Treasury's bailout of banks, called the Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP).
The Fed Chair sought to reassure those paying attention:
"We are taking all the steps necessary to protect taxpayer money. One sensitive area is to have Congress second-guessing monetary policy," Bernanke said.
Bernanke's words are not at all reassuring, I would say, given the origin of the crisis, which can be located in the dysfunctional relationship between Wall Street and the Federal government. Consider Bernanke's position on the controls placed upon the Fed:
"If we raise interest rates at a [Fed meeting] and someone in Congress didn't like the decision and ordered an audit, isn't that interference?" he said.