In a recent opinion piece for the New York Times, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders chastised the Federal Reserve for allowing the CEOs of Wall Street banking corporations to sit on its board. Sanders stated the Fed has been, “hijacked by the very bankers it regulates,” and called for banning bank executives from regional Fed governing boards. Also, he criticized the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates and claimed such actions only serve to exemplify how the American economic system is rigged.
Sanders wrote that banking CEOs and their supporters in Congress use the threat of runaway inflation as a scare tactic to raise interest rates. Also that raising rates at this time would be a disaster for small business owners that need loans to acquire more workers. The increase would potentially hurt Americans who need not just more jobs but higher living wages.
During the Wall Street crisis of 2007, Jamie Dimon, the CEO and chairman of JP Morgan Chase, served on the New York Fed’s board of directors while his corporation received upwards of $390 billion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve. The following year, four of the twelve presidents at the regional Federal Reserve Banks were former executives of Goldman Sachs. “These are clear conflicts of interest . . . [sic] We would not tolerate the head of Exxon Mobil running the Environmental Protection Agency,” Sanders states.
Sanders’ opinion piece may help keep pressure on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has much friendlier ties to corporate America and receives significant campaign donations from big banks. In fact, Clinton’s donations from Wall Street bankers are second only to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. The establishment media may be trying to ignore Sanders, but he is proving that you don’t need the blessing of corporate America to garner a large following.