OFR – Ominous, unknown federal agency

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

The Office of Financial Research – sounds boring, eh? Nerdly. Geektastic. How about dangerous, unregulated federal agency with its own funding, but no Congressional oversight or control? Are you more interested now?

We searched all over the Internet and couldn’t find anything about it except for this Fox News Report which caught our eye this afternoon. We’re going to print large excerpts, because we think it deserves a bit more attention that it is getting. And kudos to reporter James Rosen for writing it.

“The Office of Financial Research, or OFR, was created by the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul that President Obama signed into law in July 2010. Technically housed under the Treasury Department, the agency has until now received its funding not from the Congress, but directly from the Federal Reserve.”

But wait, there’s more. The Dodd-Frank bill, aka the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” came to life when Congress and the Presidency were all controlled by the Democrats. Does anyone think anything good can come from this?

“… [It] will be funded entirely through assessments — also known as taxes — on bank-holding firms with consolidated assets worth at least $50 billion.”

Oh, goody, finally taxing “the rich” – bankers, to be exact. But what this means is that the taxees will be controlling the taxer – the OFR. That is how it is with regulatory agencies, even such innocent-sounding ones as “research” agencies.

Here’s where it gets really Frankensteinian (new word alert!): there is “no limit on the growth of OFR’s budget, nor on the taxes the agency can impose on big banks to fund it. ”

Beward of these sneaker waves, laws passed for the children, no wait, it was consumers this time. This financial intelligence-gathering agency is an accounting version of the CIA.

The agency’s official mission is to collect financial data and funnel it to another Dodd-Frank creation: the Financial Stability Oversight Council. These agencies were designed with the idea of preventing another systemic shock of Lehman Brothers magnitude.

Have we over-used the term “Orwellian?” Get ready to see it used more and more as the effects of the ObamaBills start to trickle out into the world.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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