Carmen Segarra, Snowden of Finance

The recent revelation of secret recordings made by a Federal Reserve bank regulator named Carmen Segarra has now qualified as real news. Not only was there a special episode of This American Life produced in conjunction with ProPublica, but now there is a discussion actually starting to happen. There is also a good article in The Guardian.

To the very astute observer it may seem obvious that the Federal Reserve does a poor job regulating the giant (periodically nationalized) banks, but we must remember that most eyes glaze over if you mention words like “Federal Reserve” or “nationalized” or “banks” or anything even remotely related to monetary policy. Obviously, if most people were paying real attention we would have several dozen banksters in prison. But hey, stop dreaming dudes. A good start, though admittedly five years too late, may have just been given to us by Carmen Segarra.

It may seem obvious and facile to compare Carmen Segarra and Edward Snowden, but there is as much real civic value created by the Segarra recordings as was made by the Snowden revelations. I don’t mean to say that oversight of big banks that get bailed out when their bets go south is the same as government intrusion into the privacy of citizens, but they are two very critical issues that must be dealt with by the citizens of the republic soon or we shall continue to suffer banking calamities and god-knows-what-the-hell-else with all the surveillance crap.

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