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Ron Paul's Plan to Audit Fed a 'Serious Attack': Mishkin

A congressional plan to audit the Federal Reserve's decision-making process poses a serious threat to the economy, former Fed official Frederic Mishkin said.

Federal Reserve
AP
Federal Reserve

In a live interview on CNBC, Mishkin disagreed strongly with a plan being pushed by Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican and leading Fed critic.

"This is I think the most serious attack that I've seen on the Federal Reserve in the many, many years that I've studied it as a scholar," said Mishkin, an economist at Columbia Business School who was affiliated with the Fed in various capacities from 1994-2006. "This is really dangerous stuff."

  • See the full video of Mishkin's comments here

Paul's plan would require the General Accounting Office to audit Fed decisions within a year of the bill's enactments.

He has said the move would ensure the central bank is being held accountable for its decisions but rejected notions that the audits would compromise Fed independence.

  • See video of Paul discussing his plan with CNBC

Mishkin said history has shown that when lawmakers try to inject politics into the Fed, bad decisions are made and inflation often occurs as governors are pressured to keep interest rates low. Former Fed governor Randall Kroszner appeared on CNBC Monday and voiced similar concerns.

"Many of the sponsors of this legislation are very worried about inflation," Mishkin said. "This kind of legislation will do just the opposite (of controlling inflation). It is an outright attack on the Fed's independence."

Mishkin said he agrees that the Fed needs to be as transparent as possible but said "second-guessing them is going to be extremely problematic."

"We're going to get bad outcomes," he said. "It's not I think what the Congress wants."