The Federal Reserve and Sound Money

Issue Briefs | Financial Crisis

No. 188
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
by Richard M. Ebeling

We are living in a time of monetary chaos. The U.S. Federal Reserve has manipulated key interest rates down to practically zero for the last six years, and expanded the money supply in the banking system by $4 trillion over that period. And with the true mentality of the monetary central planner, the Fed Board of Governors now plans to manipulate key interest rates in an upward direction that they deem more desirable.

Interest Rate Manipulation and Monetary Expansion. The European Central Bank (ECB) has instituted a conscious policy of “negative” interest rates and planned an additional monetary expansion of well over a trillion Euros over the next year. Plus, the head of the ECB assured the public and financial markets that there is “no limit” to the amount of paper money that will be produced to push the European economies in the direction that monetary central planners consider best.

Remember, the Federal Reserve undertook a similar monetary expansion and policy of interest rate manipulation earlier in the 21st century which, in conjunction with federal subsidies that distorted the housing market, set the stage for the severe and prolonged “great recession” that began in 2008-2009.

The media and the policy pundits may focus on the day-to-day zigs and zags of central bank monetary and interest rate policy, but what really needs to be asked is whether or not we should continue to leave monetary and banking policy in the discretionary hands of central banks and the monetary central planners.

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