Ady Barkan

Ady Barkan is the director of the Center for Popular Democracy’s Fed Up, a national campaign for full employment and a reformed Federal Reserve.

Recent Articles

Here's How to Make the Fed More Transparent and Accountable

Fed leadership has long been dominated by the 1 percent. The Community Advisory Council could help change that. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, Friday, June 19, 2015, in Washington. T he Federal Reserve has long faced fierce scrutiny from members of Congress, community leaders, and the press for its lack of transparency. Fed Chair Janet Yellen, still early in her term, has signaled an intention to improve transparency and hold the Fed accountable to the public interest, and she’ll face an important test this month as she starts deciding whom to appoint to the newly formed Community Advisory Council. In the most recent example of Fed’s insular system of governance, Bloomberg Business revealed concerning news about the recent appointment of Patrick Harker as president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. Harker had served on the bank’s Board of Directors prior to his appointment, and was even on the search committee interviewing candidates for the presidential slot. Then, in a behind-the-scenes maneuver reminiscent of Dick Cheney’s infamous self-...

Challenging the GOP's Filibluster

The Senate Democrats' strategy in dealing with Republican obstruction hasn't worked so far. Here's what they should do instead.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks to reporters on Capitol Hill about the Iraq war supplemental. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The Democrats' biggest problem during the 110th Congress has been obvious: They were elected with a mandate to carry out the Herculean task of ending a war over the objections of a singularly stubborn president and a shameless minority party. Democrats won a landslide electoral victory last year in large part simply by expressing strident opposition to President Bush's foreign policy. But now, as the majority party, they're expected to actually do something. And Republicans have not cooperated. "The strategy of being obstructionist," minority whip Trent Lott told Roll Call in April ,"can either work or fail ... and so far, it's working for us." Indeed, crucial components of the Democratic agenda have passed the House with overwhelming majorities only to be defeated by filibuster in the Senate: the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have strengthened workers' right to organize, went down to defeat before a 48-vote minority; a bill to reduce the price of prescription drugs in...

Separation Anxiety

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearings on the West Bank separation barrier, which took place at The Hague last week, have attracted widespread attention and zealous passion. Palestinians and their partisans set up a mock fence outside the courthouse, and anti-Zionist chants filled the air. Not to be outdone, a pro-Israel organization shipped the skeletal remains of a blown-up bus into the city, and the parents of terrorism victims voiced their opposition to the hearings. But there is more than rhetoric to this case. The hearings raise difficult questions about the legitimacy and utility of international law: How can international tribunals resolve conflicts when legal arguments are inseparable from political ones? The hearings highlight various powerful nations' challenging desires to exert influence through international bodies without strengthening those bodies to the point that their own sovereignty is threatened. And, unfortunately, they remind us -- nearly one year...

Peace Signs

Three weeks ago, former officials from the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority announced that they had negotiated a detailed framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Ever since, Israeli public discourse -- for the first time since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's landslide re-election earlier this year -- has focused on the possibilities for peace rather than simply on the miseries of war. To be sure, there is no guarantee that the Geneva Accord, as the plan is called, will provide the groundwork for an official agreement; nor is the plan certain to revitalize the long-moribund Israeli left. But the agreement has ushered the prospect of a negotiated settlement back onto the political stage -- both inside and outside Israel -- and put pressure on Sharon's government to supplement its military measures with small overtures toward peace. In that sense, the accord is already a success. The agreement was primarily the work of Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli justice...