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Old 07-13-2009, 11:21 AM   #1751
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Federal Reserve Warns Congress on Audit

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday launched a robust defense of its independence and warned that efforts in Congress to put monetary policy under political sway would hurt the economy.

Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said opening up some of the U.S. central bank’s most sensitive decisions to political scrutiny could result in higher long-term interest rates and hurt the United States’ credit rating. Kohn was speaking before a Congressional panel where he was seeking to beat back a proposal that would open policy decisions by the U.S. central bank to audits by a federal watchdog agency.

“Any substantial erosion of the Federal Reserve’s monetary independence likely would lead to higher long-term interest rates as investors begin to fear future inflation,” he said in testimony prepared for delivery to a House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee.
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