At LewRockwell.com, former Congressman Ron Paul explains the secret new Federal Reserve bond-buying program, and how it could be abused. He writes (abridged):
In a sign that the Federal Reserve is growing increasingly desperate to jump-start the economy, the Fed’s Secondary Market Credit Facility has begun purchasing individual corporate bonds.
Under the law creating the lending facilities, the Fed does not have to reveal the purchases made by the new facilities.
The Fed could, and likely will, use this bond buying program to advance political goals. The Fed could fulfill Chairman Jerome Powell’s stated desire to do something about climate change by supporting “green energy” companies. The Fed could also use its power to reward businesses that, for example, support politically correct causes, refuse to sell guns, require their employees and customers to wear masks, or promote unquestioning obedience to the warfare state.
Another of the new lending facilities is charged with purchasing the bonds of cash-strapped state and local governments. This could allow the Fed to influence the policies of these governments.
With lending facilities providing to the Federal Reserve the ability to give money directly to businesses and governments, the Fed is now just one step away from implementing Ben Bernanke’s infamous suggestion that, if all else fails, the Fed can drop money from a helicopter.
These interventions will not save the economy. Instead, they will make the inevitable crash more painful. The next crash can bring about the end of the fiat monetary system. The question is not if the current monetary system ends, but when. The only way Congress can avoid the Fed causing another great depression is to begin transitioning to a free-market monetary system by auditing, then ending, the Fed.