10 Key Questions House Reps Should Ask Powell and Mnuchin Tomorrow
10 Key Questions House Reps Should Ask Powell and Mnuchin Tomorrow By Pam Martens and Russ Martens for Wall Street on Parade
June 30, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing beginning at 12:30 p.m. titled “Oversight of the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s Pandemic Response.” Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are scheduled as witnesses.
A good number of Democrats on this Committee – such as Maxine Waters (the Chair), Katie Porter, Bill Foster, Brad Sherman, Carolyn Maloney, Madeleine Dean, Sylvia Garcia, and Ayanna Pressley – have no problem fashioning probing questions that benefit the American people’s right to know if government is showing proper stewardship of the people’s money. But Republicans can’t seem to craft a meaningful question, opting instead to simply heap praise on Powell and Mnuchin for the bailout and simultaneous deregulation of Wall Street.
Wall Street On Parade is nothing if not charitable. We want to help out the Republicans on this Committee who are so desperately struggling to hone a question that has any meat to it. We offer the following 10 questions for tomorrow’s hearing:
- Since September 17, 2019, the Fed has made more than $9 trillion cumulatively in revolving repo loans to the trading houses on Wall Street at interest rates far below what the market would charge. Since mid-March, the Fed has made hundreds of billions of dollars of these loans at almost zero interest to Wall Street, that is, at 1/10thof one percent interest. Why, then, is the Fed charging the State of Illinois 3.82 percent interest on its loan under the Municipal Liquidity Facility? The states of our nation build our roads and bridges and educate our children, along with funding many other essential services. Why should a state have to borrow from the Fed at 38 times the rate of a Wall Street trading house?
- Mr. Powell, both you and your Vice Chairman for Supervision, Randal Quarles, have stated that you intend to provide full transparency to the American people as to whom the money from your emergency facilities is flowing. But thus far, you have provided transaction details on just 3 out of 11 emergency programs. The oldest of these programs is the Primary Dealer Credit Facility. At its peak in April, the facility had made loans of more than $31 billion to trading houses on Wall Street. It’s been over three months that this facility has been operating but the American people have yet to learn to whom, specifically, this money went. When do you plan to release transaction data for this facility and the other facilities that you have yet to report on?