The Banker Removal Power

The Federal Reserve can, under 12 U.S.C. § 1818(e), remove bankers from office if they violate the law, engage in unsafe or unsound practices, or breach their fiduciary duties. Yet the Fed has used this power so rarely that few people even realize it exists. In the past 20 years, America’s largest banks have settled hundreds of major lawsuits and paid an unprecedented $195 billion in fines and penalties. They have admitted to fraud, bribery, money laundering, price fixing, bid rigging, illegal kickbacks, discriminatory lending, and a host of other consumer protection violations. In 2019, the U.S. Department of … Read more

Fed to the Rescue: Unprecedented Scope, Stretched Authority

When it comes to responding to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the Federal Reserve has emerged as one of the most active institutions at the national level. Its bold and timely interventions have halted a monetary breakdown that would have guaranteed a second Great Depression. And its continuing efforts to avert a vicious cycle of debt defaults are helping to address a sudden economic stop that has made a deep and lasting recession all but inevitable. Unfortunately, the Fed has repeatedly had to scramble and stretch its authority because it was not designed to address the current crisis. In … Read more