Memes & Mysteries: Story of the Federal Reserve Audit

by talkbackty on Nov 27, 2011

Memes are ideas; for all intents and purposes at least. I'm simplifying an incredibly interesting and deep field of study, however, for my purposes, a meme is an idea. An idea that can spread throughout a population both vertically (from parent to child) or, and more importantly, horizontally (from person to person). Even if you're not familiar with the terminology, you are familiar with the concept:

Rebecca Black's Friday. YouTube videos of pandas sneezing. All that junk email you keep getting from semi-distant family members insisting that the President is a Muslim, or a communist, or the anti-Christ Those are all memes. They are silly or stupid memes, but at the end of the day, they are ideas that spread throughout a culture and end up affecting all of us.

Those are silly memes. Ones that do not really matter but make for an easy example. Occupy Wall Street is a meme. So was the Tea Party movement. Lack of trust in our government is a meme; it is always present in some shape or form throughout society yet that particular meme really began to spread virally in the late 1960's and early 70's. (Forgive my US centric focus, international readers)

The concept of memes is really fascinating to me. Richard Dawkins coined the phrase in his book The Selfish Gene where he goes into great detail discussing the biological similarities of memes.

What I am most interested in is why certain ideas do not take off. Why do some memes come and go quickly, seemingly intoxicating the entire world for a brief moment and then instantly fading into the abyss? While other memes, like a distrust of government, spread until they infect every possible person.

Recently, I've begun to talk more and more about the partial audit of the Federal Reserve in my daily life. This is due to the fact that last week was Thanksgiving and I spent the majority of time with a family that has a knack for talking, and partly due to the fact that I'm no longer completely surrounded by high school freshman. You're great kids, but your understanding of governmental organizations and international economics is seriously lacking.

I mentioned the audit briefly in my summary of Occupy Wall Street a few weeks ago. To summarize:

In mid-2011 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their report after a partial audit of the Federal Reserve. This was the first audit, of any kind, of the Fed since the 1950s. The report found that over a period of three years (Jul 2007-Dec 2010) the Fed had authorized $16.1 trillion- yes, with a "t"- in secret loans to banks and financial institutions, both foreign and domestic. It also discovered and outlined numerous problems with the personnel serving on the Board of the Fed while also occupying high-ranking positions in the financial sector. For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed.

These unregulated, unmandated loans were given at 0% interest to nations and corporations with absolutely no representatives from the United States Congress having approved them, at least publicly. There were no votes or discussions. This is entirely separate from the TARP bailouts. Speaking of, the TARP bailouts cost about $800 billion. I'm sure you remember all the political bantering and news commentators commenting oh so vigorously when the TARP bill was being debated in Congress. Yet, all the while the Federal Reserve, mainly through the New York branch, was giving out $16 trillion in loans.
GAO Report page 131

Now personally, I don't think you could write a better story if you were James Patterson. Big Whig, old boys club gives out trillions of dollars to their 1% buddies all while the nation at large goes through the worst recession since the Great Depression and unemployment hangs around ten percent. It is a story made for the movies, with evil corporations, massive lies and insane corruption.

Those numbers are in Billions. So 16 thousand...billions.
Yet, no one is talking about it. As I attempted to explain to my father over Thanksgiving dinner his main response was, "That doesn't make sense. I would have heard about it." He's not whistling dixie either, he reads and watches a lot of news. Every day he checks his websites and every night he flips between FOX and MSNBC.

So I did some digging, complete with pictures for your entertainment.

Fox News.



Nothing. Not one story about the audit of the Federal Reserve. If you type in "partial audit of the federal reserve" into Google there is nothing but blogs reporting on the issue. No major network coverage at all. And I can't explain why. The story is too good, the meme has too much potential, yet I have absolutely no idea why nobody is talking about this.

This is what an insane person must feel like. As if the entire world can't see a plain truth sitting right in front of them. It's baffling and confusing. $16 trillion dollars is more than our debt. More than our budget. More money than any human being can honestly wrap their head around.

So what is it that makes a meme spread? What takes an idea from infancy to mass acceptance. How come powerful memes never become fully realized? Is it being stopped by the ever-mythical "man." As per usual, I don't have answers, merely questions. Yet questions are potent in their own regard. They can inspire and spread. They can change perspectives and force us all to accept things we once rejected. A question can be a meme, spreading the mystery faster and farther until, hopefully, it reaches a point that can provide answers.

Hey, here's my sources:
GAO report
Senator Bernie Sanders Summary (the most official summary other than the report itself)
Washington Post (not on the money, but on CEO's sitting on the board of the Fed)