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As the debate over an audit of the Federal Reserve intensifies in the House, one camp is trotting out eight academics that it calls a “political cross section of prominent economists.”

A review of their backgrounds shows they are anything but.
In a letter to the House Financial Services Committee earlier this month, all eight wrote that they support the type of amendment now being introduced by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.). Watt’s approach purports to increase Fed transparency while it actually would tighten restrictions on any audits that could go forward. The letter was sent around Wednesday by Watt’s staff to members of the committee in advance of a vote scheduled for Thursday.
Watt’s measure is in competition with an amendment cosponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), which would repeal the restrictions that Watt leaves in place. But far from a broad cross-section, the “prominent economists” lobbying on behalf of the Watt bill are in fact deeply involved with the Federal Reserve. Seven of the eight are either currently on the Fed’s payroll or have been in the past.

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