It was probably only a matter of time until the call for "blood, damnit, and, frankly, anyone's blood will do" got loud enough that being a customer of a particularly unpopular organization started to get dangerous. That time is at hand. Between calls to out the names of every U.S. customer of a given foreign bank, demands that AIGs counterparties be disclosed, salary and bonus figures for employees of organizations that, today, happen bear the ire of the public, and the customer of the Fed's discount window (or customers of any other of the Fed's wide ranging products for a modern financial world), it is quickly looking like there might not be a private transaction left in the country after July 2010. It is worth mentioning that, with the exception of depositors in Swiss banks, none of the people about to be exposed as involved in perfectly legal transactions, have even been indicted, much less convicted of committing any crime. Much as Goldman Sachs might make my toenails itch, the fact that they bought credit default swaps from AIG doesn't make them evil. (Well, not only that, anyhow). Nor is it particularly useful to know that a given AIG CDS customer is French. (Well, it's useful to us, but we make fun of the French for a living).
It doesn't help that the sole purpose of releasing these figures is to continue the current witch hunt in the ongoing campaign to blanket the country with "fairness." Nor is it particularly comforting that when confronted with the minor detail that confiscating funds from private citizens paid pursuant to a perfectly legal, private contract formed last year might be beyond "every single legal avenue" Tim "The Safecracker" Geithner might have available to him, the President, choked up with anger, has the following first response (according to Reuters):
"We don't have all the ... regulatory power that we need."
That deficiency doesn't look set to last for long. There is certainly a huge push in the direction of both regulatory x-ray specs and regulatory power. And, ironically, everyone in government seems to be pushing in the same direction.
Ron Paul's H.R. 1207, the "Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009," purposed "To amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes," would, in effect, this would make public the vast majority of Fed transactions.
Consider what it would mean to have both a Fed with much expanded powers, and a Fed that is increasingly transparent to government and increasingly beholden to political whim. If we were talking about this sort of a power grab exercised in any other way than by proxy though the Fed it would be a constitutional non-starter. I sense the fingerprints of Rahm "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" Emanuel all over this. But, the people, it seems, have spoken.
AIG Discloses Counterparties as Obama, Cuomo Assail Bonuses [Bloomberg]
Obama wants AIG bonuses blocked [Reuters]
Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 [GovTrack]