Liberals and conservatives blast the Fed

liberals federal reserve reforms

The economy might be improving, but Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen can't catch a break.

Conservatives in Congress demanded an audit of the Fed last month. Now liberals have their list of grievances.

A coalition led by the left-leaning Center for Popular Democracy has launched a "Fed Up" campaign. They say the Fed is out of touch with Main Street and isn't focusing enough on getting people back to work.

America's central bank has a dual mandate to keep prices of goods stable and get the economy to full employment.

The coalition sent a public letter to Yellen Tuesday calling for "public engagement" in the selection of the replacements for two regional Fed Presidents who are resigning. Dallas Fed President Richard Fischer and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser are leaving their posts soon.

Related: America's dual economy

Yellen will meet with three dozen coalition representatives on Friday.

The timing of the demands is a bit odd. Since taking over as Fed chair in early 2014, Yellen has repeatedly stressed that full employment and higher wages are among her top goals.

America's unemployment rate is now at a six-year low. The economy added another 214,000 jobs in October and is on track for its best year of jobs gains since 1999. Wages, however, have not improved since the recession.

"We continue to hear reports that the economy is recovering, but millions of workers and their families are still struggling, whether from involuntarily part-time hours, poverty wages, or a lack of earned sick time," said Ady Barkan a staff attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy.

Related: U.S. has added 2.3 million jobs this year

Both conservative and liberal groups say their aim is simply for more transparency at the Fed, although there is concern about politics impacting the central bank.

The Fed's decisions on interest rates which influence everything from mortgage rates to the bond market are intended to be free of outside influence.

In October, Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) led the conservative critics and said the Fed should be audited by a Congressional oversight office. Two auditors already look at the Fed's finances every year, but Cruz wants closer scrutiny of whether the Fed made the right monetary policy choices.

Yellen and Cruz have not scheduled a meeting, although Yellen appears before Congress twice a year.

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