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Alan Grayson Discusses Ron Paul's HR 1207 And Auditing The Fed 

B-52 carries a heavy visage amidst the talk of an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Inside we have a short clip from TechTicker and Aaron Task who interviewed Congressman Alan Grayson yesterday about his very popular youtube video showing an extreme lack of oversight at the Federal Reserve.  According to Grayson, that video has helped dramatically to convince certain Congressional members to demand more transparency from the Fed.  He also discusses the status of H.R. 1207, Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve.

Video is courtesy of TechTicker.

From Reuters:

One of the featured speakers at today's Big Picture conference (which was largely coordinated by TBM columnist Marion Maneker) was freshman Congressman Alan Grayson, who represents Orlando's district in Florida. Grayson is an interesting character; he came to prominence suing the government for military contracting fraud, which earned him this 2007 Vanity Fair profile. (He has since abandoned the beard.)

Grayson appeared on a panel with Nassim Taleb, best known as the author of The Black Swan. Their exchange about the proper role of government regulation of the financial system was entertaining, if a bit meandering. Grayson, who grew up in the Bronx and holds three Harvard degrees, has a rare ability to say relatively radical things without coming off as a rabid populist. Moderator Barry Ritholtz, author of the just-published Bailout Nation, asked a straightforward question: The U.S. government does a reasonably good job of regulating things like the safety of airplanes and foods. Why, then, does it do such a lousy job of regulating the financial system?

Grayson's answer was immediate and succinct: "Capture." For those not up on regulatory theory, this refers to the notion that regulators become captive of the industries they regulate. Noting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spent $100 million on campaign contributions over the last 10 years, Grayson said: "The system is in some sense corrupt. A senator said the other day that Wall Street owns Washington, and while I might not go that far, you don't have the airlines ‘owning' the [airline regulators]. There is a lot of influence that Wall Street has on the government, even the judicial branch." Indeed, Grayson could have cited the front-page story in today's Wall Street Journal, documenting the remarkable efficiency with which banking campaign contributions appear to have helped ease accounting rules that in turn helped the banks.

Grayson even hinted that there are powers in Washington that would like him and the Financial Services Committee to trim their investigations somewhat. Referring to a hearing scheduled for this afternoon about how Fannie and Freddie went awry, Grayson said: "We're getting instructions from on high saying, ‘Don't dwell on the past.'" Taleb later remarked that while Grayson had laudable views about the proper role of government, he was almost certainly "a little lonely" in Washington.

But one of the most intriguing aspects of Grayson is how effectively he has been able to get his message out on YouTube, updating a tactic used by Republicans in the early ‘80s. When C-SPAN first came around, GOP rebels realized they could get great play by giving rabid speeches on the House floor in the middle of the night. It didn't matter if literally no one was listening to them in the chamber; cable would get the word out. Similarly, Grayson usually gets a couple of minutes in any given hearing to ask his questions, and he puts the video version out on YouTube, where he comes off as a crusader.


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Reader Comments (5)

Alan Grayson is my congressman and we love him here in ORlando. Give 'em hell Grayson is what I call him. Thanks for writing such nice things about him. He does our state proud.
Jun 5, 2009 at 6:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterHumble Senior
One of the best people in the nation at present. A genuine leader. May he grow in prosperity and never change. We need more Alan Graysons' in Congress and Senate. Please protect and guard the quality of this man's ideas. Admiration for what he is about and how he talks plainly and calmly about economic issues. When others are filled with guile and give pretense about not knowing, Grayson is good to drill down for answers.

Mr. Grayson, please exercise good care and caution. As time goes by and more is learned, Fed may feel desperate and behave like crooks. Try to trip you up, nick your rep, attack you personally, may even resort to worse conduct like tricks to get you or staff off course. Irresponsible persons can be ugly when they get desperate. With a friend like Henry Paulson, who does not care if he violates the law or may believe he and his colleagues are the law or are, above the law, it is important to understand such persons may employ more dishonest tact (than giving pretense of not knowing), when stalling is no longer an option or they otherwise get desperate.

To emphasis this with supporting staff, it is unfortunate, but necessary to recognize some of the off record antics employed in the past, when people do well or succeed in some capacity. One example of this, is when a former President balanced the budget (no small task). It was balanced for a three or four year period and what to do with budget surpluses was coming into professional discussion and public forums. I do not mean to show favoritism in one party or another here, but simply point out what has happened in the past, when a person does well. We saw how badly some extremists reacted. As mentioned above, it is a difficult subject to talk about with dignity, but my five ( 5 ) year old was suddenly asking me and my wife about oral sex thanks to one party's reaction to a balanced budget. They felt desperate. It resulted in disrespect for the Office, and for the American family, parents trying to raise young ones. They also made it as uncomfortable as humanely or inhumanely possible for the First Lady and the teenage daughter. This is just an example of some of the tricks and stunts these so called "leaders" will resort to, to hurt or tarnish the good efforts of others. Good efforts, where work product is accomplished that has merit by itself. Again, not trying to emphasize a party or stimulate debate if one party is better. Only that some people when they get desperate, will resort to extremes in behavior, go far out of their way to make trouble, and what they tend to focus on, when trying to pull or claw at people; other human beings.

Noted for temperance and preservation of decorum mainly. Please use a measure of caution with good care, so results and achievement, along with good effort and work of others can be properly preserved.

When dealing with desperate actors and so called "friends" of same, achievement may be the vulnerable opening they look to exploit. That is when achievement occurs there is natural tendency to feel good, relax as when a summit is reached and feel genuine satisfaction over having worked hard. This state of accomplishment, has a vulnerable element, and that is relaxing, having finally achieved what was worked for. This may be where desperate actors seek to do mischief, when a person is relaxed or in a state of relaxing. The guard is naturally relaxed as well. If bad actors sense vulnerability they usually tend to find a way to exploit it. Unfortunately, it is the nature of them who are desperate and fearful of loosing power. It is not a good leadership skill. It is just the default reaction of devils to behave badly, when light is shined on their misdeeds and professional misconduct.

Due care does not mean over react, but simply try to maintain a level of consistency in momentum-going-forward phase and in the wind-down-phase of achievement and accomplishment. Some professional consideration is warranted. And if you come across people who have a nose for discernment or a good intuition, don't fall in love, simply respect them.
Aug 4, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Bruer
Good words of caution, Chris.

And good write-up DB........and all was right with the world........until I saw ORLANDO!!!!!

Let me tell you about Orlando. I got a speeding ticket in Orlando last March, heading to Disney from the condo I was staying at. Nice little shakedown they've got going....one tourista after another..... Saying how they're all concerned with safety.......but NOT concerned enough to put up SPEED LIMIT SIGNS!!!!! (you dicks)

So while Grayson may very well be the best congressman in the country, don't look for any contributions from me. I gave at the OPD.
Aug 4, 2009 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh

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