Bankster Power - by Ron Paul
Although it has taken nearly a century, it seems that the entire spectrum of the American political establishment has finally realized the destructive power of the Federal Reserve System. Whether left, right, or libertarian, politicians are lining up to attack Ben Bernanke and the Fed’s destructive monetary policy. Where there is disagreement or lack of understanding, however, is on why the Fed’s monetary policy is destructive, how it harms the economy, and what should be done about it. Today’s hearing will examine the various proposals that have been put forth both to mend and to end the Fed. It is my hope that this hearing will spur a vigorous and long-lasting discussion about the Fed’s problems, a discussion which will lead to concrete actions once and for all to rein in the Fed.
Much confusion exists over what the Federal Reserve System actually is. Some people claim that is a secret cabal of elite bankers, while others claim that it is part of the federal government. In reality it is a bit of both. The Federal Reserve Board is a government agency, while the Federal Reserve Banks are privately-run government-chartered institutions, and monetary policy decisions are made by the Federal Open Market Committee, which has members from both the Board and the Reserve Banks.
The Federal Reserve System is the epitome of crony capitalism. It exemplifies the collusion between big government and big business to profit at the expense of the taxpayers. The Fed’s bailout of large banks during the financial crisis propped up poorly-run corporations that should have gone under, giving them an advantage that no other business in the United States would have received. The bailouts continue today, as banks maintain $1.5 trillion worth of excess reserves at the Fed, reserves which were created through the Fed’s purchase of worthless securities from banks. The trillions of dollars that the Fed has injected into the system have the goal of forcing down interest rates. But the Fed fails to realize that interest rates are a price, the price of money and credit, and that forcing interest rates down will only create an even bigger bubble and an enormous economic depression when this entire house of cards comes falling down.
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