Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Fed as the Tool of the One Percent

Posted at Mises:

There are two paths by which to offer criticism regarding the Fed in particular, and central banking generally, and both are given audience within this post. 

The first is the path of criticizing the Fed’s effectiveness at its (for public consumption) mission, and it is evident in the opening line of this post:

“End America’s central bank because it caused the crashes of 2008, 1987, and 1929 and will blunder again.”

The second path is to criticize the Fed based on the immorality inherent in the institution itself, and this is offered in the last paragraph of the post, via a quote from Joe Salerno:

“’History and current experience,’ Salerno adds, ‘reveal to us that groups endowed with a legal monopoly over any area of the economy are prone to use it to the hilt to enrich themselves, their friends and allies.’”

It seems to me that both approaches have merit, and each might reach different audiences.  I lean toward the latter; the first approach always strikes me as leaving room for someone to say “we learned the lesson, it won’t happen again”…oh, wait – Ben DID say that:

“Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

We can be certain that one of Yellen’s successors will trot out a similar line when the current mistakes manifest in the next catastrophe.  “We learned the lesson, we will pass regulations, we will update our models, it won’t happen again.”

The second approach offers the possibility to expand on the immorality of the institution, the vicious means by which it continuously skims a few tenths of a penny off of every single transaction of every person using its currency (or digital equivalent).

The evidence is manifest – the stagnant standard of living of the middle-class in the midst of one of the greatest technology booms in recorded history is but one instance.

There is a vague understanding that the 1% is sticking it to the rest of us.  All that is left is to properly expose the appropriate 1%, and properly explain the means by which we are getting stuck.

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