Congressman who went werewolf on me now spooks Fed officials
Alan Grayson: I would like to know whether it is within the Federal Reserve’s legal authority to try to manipulate the stock market or the futures market.
Federal Reserve GC Scott Alvarez: I don’t believe the Federal Reserve tries to manipulate the stock market…(Yoda: Do or do not, there is no try.)
Alan Grayson: Does the Federal Reserve actually possess all the gold that’s listed on their balance sheet.
Scott Alvarez, doing a classic poker body language tell, and taking his time: Yes…
Alan Grayson: Who actually executes the trades for the Federal Reserve in the markets?
Scott Alvarez: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which executes trades through Primary Dealers.
Alan Grayson: Can you name one Primary Dealer?
Scott Alvarez: JP Morgan Chase
Alan Grayson: Do you mind if we have a GAO audit to see if there has been front-running or insider trading by them? Do you mind? Is that ok with you?
Scott Alvarez: I am not sure if I have that authority…
First of all, apologies again for being absent from normal posting routine. We are putting to bed a very large story today, so I’ve been nuts.
Anyway, Alan Grayson, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul and others keep hammering away at this whole Fed-secrecy issue, and every now and then we get some pretty interesting exchanges. Zero Hedge relates this one between Grayson and Fed counsel Scott Alvarez. It’s becoming abundantly clear that at some point we’re going to start to hear details about monstrous front-running operations involving the major banks on Wall Street.
I recommend that everyone watch this clip just for the sheer entertainment value (scroll to the bottom; I’ve embedded it there). I have personal experience with… well, let’s call it the unique personality of Alan Grayson. In his capacity as an attorney he once basically threatened to have me dismembered and have my body parts dumped in a tin canister and fired into the center of a burning supernova. And that’s actually underselling the real language he used. We were having a disagreement about the use of information given to me by a certain source in a story about military contracting, and in the middle of what had been a normal contentious argument between two sane adults, dude suddenly assumed this crazy monster-voice and just went medieval on me. He was roaring into the telephone about how he was going to crush me, how I was going to wish I had never messed with him, how I didn’t know who the hell I was dealing with, and so on. One phrase I remember in particular was, “I am going to strip the bark off of you!” It came totally out of the blue and it was like being on the telephone with a metamorphosing werewolf — the whole performance genuinely freaked me out. I may even have peed a little, I can’t remember.
When I heard Alan Grayson was running for Congress, I remember thinking to myself, That Alan Grayson? The lunatic? It can’t be, I thought. I kept imagining trails of half-eaten sheep leading to his campaign appearances. But it turned out to be true. And when I checked, his platform turned out to be quite sane and even kind of interesting. Then he got elected and I suddenly started seeing his name attached to all of these calls for transparency, various crusades for FinReg reforms, etc.
And now every time I see Alan Grayson, he’s tearing some freaked-out bureaucrat a new asshole in the middle of some empty conference room in the Capitol somewhere. I see the looks on the faces of these poor souls and I know exactly what they’re going through. Which is just hilarious, frankly. Especially since these people all tend to deserve it, like this nebbishy little creep Alvarez quite obviously does.
Now for most of last year Grayson’s public appearances didn’t rate any higher than a five or maybe a six on the craziness scale, but he’s a definite seven in this clip, trending toward eight. Watch Alvarez look around nervously, like he’s not sure whether to say something about how out of control Grayson is. He’s looking around like he expects someone to come out with a butterfly net and capture Grayson, so he can get back to lunch. But no help comes. Very entertaining stuff.
P.S. I should point out — I’ve gotten a couple of letters on this already — that by crazy, I definitely mean Grayson sounds off his rocker when questioning Alvarez. Although the Fed is certainly guilty of almost everything Grayson accuses them of, the line of questioning is just bizarre. What Grayson does here is sort of like asking someone to just admit to being an axe murderer. Just admit it! Admit you murder people with axes. We all know what your denials mean! That said, this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the suffering of Alvarez in this exchange.