Sunday, June 29, 2008

USA Fed Facing Embarrassing IMF Investigation?

For many in the USA during any typical work week:

You get up. You go to work. You earn your pay. You go home and finish the rest of your day... totally unaware of what's going on at the global level regarding the value of the dollars in that paycheck you're bringing home.

Show of hands: Before now, how many didn't know that an organization called the International Monetary Fund (IMF) exists?

Interestingly enough (or perhaps 'not surprisingly') some countries love the IMF. Some countries hate the IMF. And yet, most countries belong to it. (see link)

It's purpose?
The IMF describes itself as "an organization of 185 countries (Montenegro being the 185th, as of January 18, 2007), working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty". With the exception of North Korea, Cuba, Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Tuvalu, and Nauru, all UN member states participate directly in the IMF. Most are represented by other member states on a 24-member Executive Board but all member countries belong to the IMF's Board of Governors.

The reason I bring this up now is because of a news article I found (quite by accident) which was recently translated (from German) into English reporting the following:
Officials with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have informed Bernanke about a plan that would have been unheard-of in the past: a general examination of the US financial system. The IMF's board of directors has ruled that a so-called Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is to be carried out in the United States. It is nothing less than an X-ray of the entire US financial system.

As part of the assessment, the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the major investment banks, mortgage banks and hedge funds will be asked to hand over confidential documents to the IMF team. They will be required to answer the questions they are asked during interviews. Their databases will be subjected to so-called stress tests -- worst-case scenarios designed to simulate the broader effects of failures of other major financial institutions or a continuing decline of the dollar.

Under its bylaws, the IMF is charged with the supervision of the international monetary system. Roughly two-thirds of IMF members -- but never the United States -- have already endured this painful procedure. (link to full story)

The article goes on to report:
For seven years, US President George W. Bush refused to allow the IMF to conduct its assessment. Even now, he has only given the IMF board his consent under one important condition. The review can begin in Bush's last year in office, but it may not be completed until he has left the White House. This is bad news for the Fed chairman.

When the final report on the risks of the US financial system is released in 2010 -- and it is likely to cause a stir internationally -- only one of the people in positions of responsiblity today will still be in office: Ben Bernanke.

It all reminds me of an old Johnny Cash tune called "Ring of Fire." I'm guessing we all know who the fall guy is going to be when the dust settles.

You know, with all this talk about strengthening our boarders, it's kind of wierd to me that we would be required to "open our books" to nations outside our boarders.

Makes ya kinda wonder how many other foreign powers are dictating how our country is run and who is allowed to rule it ...doesn't it?

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