After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve’s decision-making.

Once championed in Congress by former Rep. Ron Paul, the push to force the country’s central bank to undergo a full audit has been picked up by his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and others, and has the backing of the leader of the new Republican majority, Sen. Mitch McConnell, also a Kentucky Republican, whose office says the legislation will earn a floor vote.

But despite overwhelming support in the House, where the legislation has twice passed, the bill is not a sure thing in the Senate, and the Fed itself is pushing back.

Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen said this month the Fed remains opposed to stricter oversight of its monetary policy decisions, and Reuters reported she and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push.

“Back in 1978 Congress explicitly passed legislation to ensure that there would be no GAO audits of monetary policy decision-making, namely policy audits. I certainly hope that will continue, and I will try to forcefully make the case for why that’s important,” Yellen told reporters at a press conference two weeks ago.

For supporters in Congress, the fight is a matter of constitutional prerogatives and good governance. They argue that President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, which totaled $800 billion in spending and tax cuts, was dwarfed by the trillions of dollars of stimulus the Federal Reserve oversaw.

They’ve had luck in the House, where legislation calling for an audit has passed twice, including most recently in September on a 333-92 vote. All but one Republican, and more than half of the Democrats in the chamber, voted for the legislation.

But Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, refused to give the bill floor time in the Senate, bottling it up in both 2012 and 2014.

Norm Singleton, vice president of policy at Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul’s political organization, said that was striking because, in 2010, Mr. Reid had seemed to throw his support behind doing an audit.

Mr. Reid’s side suffered huge losses in November’s elections, with the Republicans [gaining] nine seats — enough for a 54-46 majority, delivering control over the floor schedule to Mr. McConnell and undercutting Mr. Reid’s power.

Read the entire Washington Times report here.



2014 was when ‘conspiracy theory’ became ‘conspiracy fact’

The year 2014 was when “conspiracy theory” about gold market rigging became “conspiracy fact,” as banks were found to have conspired to rig not only gold prices, but also silver prices, currencies and interest rates, GoldCore’s year-in-review commentary notes.

“Peculiar single trades or handfuls of trades leading to sudden gold and silver price falls continued in 2014 and contributed to gold’s and silver’s weakness,” GoldCore reports. “Price falls were often seen at times when markets were less liquid. As ever, price falls were driven by the futures market in electronic and increasingly computer-driven trading – despite no reports of any major liquidations of physical metal. Indeed, they often came at times of strong global physical demand.”

Read GoldCore’s year-end commentary here.


From the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee:

2015 ‘trade of the year’ cites rigging of stock and gold markets

Toronto broker and mining entrepreneur Michael Ballanger covers U.S. government rigging of the stock and gold markets in his latest market letter on what he thinks will be the “trade of the year” for 2015 – a variant of which he also thought would be the “trade of the year” for 2014 but turned out to be only the trade of the first half of the year.

Ballanger writes: “The zero-interest-rate-policy of the global central banks has herded money from the bond market into the stock market both indirectly (‘QE’ bond buying) and directly (central bank buying of stocks). The net result is that historical securities analysis has to be thrown out the window because even garbage stocks (like IBM) are supported by corporate buybacks fueled by cheap and easy money.

“And how about interventions? All you need to do is take a glance at the chart of the S&P 500. Notice how the price was managed higher after the major correction in late 2011. It was as if someone drew the chart going out to 2015 and told the New York Fed’s trading desk to ‘make it so.’ …

“Despite the greatest physical offtake of the metal in history, the U.S. dollar-denominated price of gold declined. The interventions began at the all-important $1,525 support level in 2013 when unnaturally large amounts of gold futures (‘synthetic gold’) were dumped into the Comex with zero regard for ‘best price’ and total regard for the $1,525 support level being shattered. These interventions have occurred at every critical chart point in the same way that every decline in the SPY was rejected at major price points (a decline of 10 percent or more).”



‘Get your gold now before it’s too late’: Jim Rickards

Kitco News is kicking off its Outlook 2015 coverage with an interview with Jim Rickards, bestselling author of “Currency Wars” and, more recently, “The Death of Money,” to see what he thinks will happen to the U.S. economy in the coming year and how it may affect gold.

“We’re absolutely in a currency war,” he tells Daniela Cambone.

Looking at gold, Rickards says the current price is a great entry point because once it takes off, he thinks it will be hard for investors to find any gold.

The 6:32 minute video interview is posted on Kitco’s website.



More silver traded in Shanghai than on Comex in 2014

Silver trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in 2014 again exceeded silver trading on the New York Commodities Exchange, this time by 37 percent, Bullion Star market analyst and GATA consultant Koos Jansen reports.

Read the entire report here.


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