Sanders: Fed 'hijacked' by bankers

Sanders: Fed 'hijacked' by bankers
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) is calling for sweeping reforms to the Federal Reserve, which he claims has "been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates."

The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said Fed board members would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate if he were elected to the Oval Office, and that banking executives would be barred from serving.

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"If I were elected president, the foxes would no longer guard the henhouse," wrote Sanders in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday. "To ensure the safety and soundness of our banking system, we need to fundamentally restructure the Fed’s governance system to eliminate conflicts of interest."

Sanders said the Fed's recent decision to raise interest rates "is the latest example of the rigged economic system" shafting working families and small businesses.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has said the minor — but long expected — rate hike is needed to stave off inflation, but Sanders said the risk is overblown.

"Big bankers and their supporters in Congress have been telling us for years that runaway inflation is just around the corner. They have been dead wrong each time," wrote Sanders, who suggested the Fed shouldn't hike rates until employment is below 4 percent.

Sanders also called for a strict separation of banks' investment and savings operations and for charging banks on excess reserves kept at the Fed.

"It’s time to make banking work for the productive economy and for all Americans, not just a handful of wealthy speculators," wrote Sanders.

"And it begins by making the Federal Reserve a more democratic institution."