Perusing the Justice Department website this evening after a day in which jargon and manipulative chaos of verbiage was a focus I stumbled across something interesting.
The Interpol Police Agency has a list of partner agencies that provide an ongoing sort of “student exchange” program to keep tactics and training fresh and integrated. I like that an international agency has itself under the umbrella of our Justice Department. What stood out is the listing for Federal Reserve Board.
The firs oddity is the acronym – OIG. Doesn’t roll out of “Federal Reserve Board” very easily. I wouldn’t naturally associate the Fed with a policing agency either. Here’s the text of the site:
“The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent and objective oversight authority established under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended. The OIG’s mission is to provide independent oversight by conducting audits, investigations and other reviews of the programs and operations of the Board and the CFPB.”
So OIG really stands for the Office of the Inspector General. It has oversight of a non-governmental organization. Nothing weird there. Unless you consider that the Federal Reserve is a third-party oversight to the government too. One reason that’s important is so that a government cannot “weaponize” its money supply with unreasonable valuation to harm foreign countries – which in turn would harm domestic entities and citizens. It’s also a credibility gate for foreign exchanges.
The structure then is of a third-party organization of integrity that has oversight of and limits the federal government’s handling of domestic currency valuation while at the same time enduring audits, investigations and reviews by the federal government. The plot thickens when you consider that the Secretary of the Treasury has the responsibility to oversee the calculations of foreign currency yet Congress is the entity that has the power to set that valuation domestically.
The Federal Reserve, therefore, while having the ostensible responsibility for stability in our monetary system and in banking is really nothing more than domestic banking* integrity that has the TV-presence of monetary stability before Congress that the Treasury Secretary avoids in the foreign currency arena. Yet at a moment in history when foreign value relativity is at least as important as domestic interest rates – why is there no TV time for the Treasury secretary like the Fed chairman receives? Aren’t Treasury secretaries generally minted in the Fed anyway?
Food for thought as I sit here counting my stamps like our Congress. I suggest that a new perspective on currency coupled with a more rational flow of responsibility and accountability will lead to more consistent, worthwhile outcomes in Congress, in our economy and in our lives as citizens.