Richard Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, warned Congress Tuesday against supporting proposals that would open central bank policymaking to greater scrutiny and political pressure.
"I want to be on record here tonight in reminding these good people," he said in a speech, referring to lawmakers, "that if the Congress is not careful and ends up where it is going in tampering with the independence of the Federal Reserve, it will indeed lead us down a path to the politicization of the central bank of the world's greatest economy, putting the United States on a road that leads to economic ruin."
Fisher took particular aim at a proposal by Rep. Ron Paul to open the Fed to audits by the Government Accountability Office. The House approved the measure last month, and a similar Senate proposal has 31 co-sponsors.
He also rejected suggestions that the 12 regional Fed bank presidents be subject to Senate confirmation.
"I am not accountable to any Washington politicos, be they Democrat or Republican," he said. "I am politically neutered, devoutly nonpartisan and guided solely by what I believe is the best way to craft policy."