NPR logo Ron Paul, Ben Bernanke and Watergate


Ron Paul, Ben Bernanke and Watergate

Is it surprising that a Congressman suggested the Federal Reserve may have funded Watergate and Saddam Hussein? Maybe not, if the Congressman is the author of a book called "End the Fed."

Here's how Rep. Ron Paul put it this morning, when Ben Bernanke appeared before the House Financial Services Committee: has been reported in the past that during the 1980s that the Fed actually facilitated a $5.5-billion loan to Saddam Hussein. And he then bought weapons from our military-industrial complex. And also that is when he invested in a nuclear reactor. ...

Also there's been reports that the cash used in the Watergate scandal came through the Federal Reserve. And when investigators back in those years tried to find out, they were always stonewalled, and we couldn't get the information. ... would you grant that after 10 or 15 years, the American people deserve to know?

Bernanke's response:

Well, Congressman, these specific allegations you've made I think are absolutely bizarre. And I have absolutely no knowledge of anything remotely like what you just described. As far as the 10 years, after five years, we produce complete transcripts of every word said in the FOMC meetings. So you have every word in front of you.

Paul asked if Congress can get "the results of every agreement, every single loan made." Bernanke said yes.

Then Paul asked about the possibility of the Fed participating in a bailout of Greece.

"We have no plans whatsoever to be involved in any foreign bailouts or anything of that sort," Bernanke said.