1. #1
    ritehook's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    PANIC ON WALL STREET - What the Hell is the Federal Reserve?

    The conventional wisdom is the the group of banks known as the Federal Reserve is the guardian against severe disturbances in the financial markets. With wise policies re contracting or expanding credit, and other measures, it is supposed to guide us on an even economic course,.


    WHAT, EXACTLY, IS THE FED? Well, for one thing, it is grist for the mill of more conspiracy theories than the JFK shooting and 911 combined.

    What we do know: it was established as America's "central bank" in 1913, charged with preventing the kind of "panics" that bedeviled the economy in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    It was pushed through Congress by a guy named Aldrich, supposedly a paladin of the Rockefeller empire.

    1913 is also the year the US instituted the personal income tax. Anti-Feds always point that out, but I'm not sure I see the relevance.

    The Fed, tho, seems to have failed. It has been blamed for the stock market collapse of 1929, and the subsequent decade long Depression. They eased credit to the max (bricklayers and waitresses were buying stocks on margin, just like people in the last few years were buying houses "on margin," so to speak.)

    They allowed banks and brokerages to mix, just as both Dems and the GOP did in late '90s, early 00s.

    The Fed, according to the conspiracy theorists (and I tend to believe them on many points) is privately owned. But the owners are not identified.

    They make money by charging 6% to create debt - ie, to create bank deposits out of thin air. Supposedly, according to the defenders of the Fed, this profit goes back to the US Treasury. (But if so, why charge it in the first place?)

    A small handfiul of congressmen - a guy whose name slips my mind, from the 1930s, the late Henry Gonzalez from Texas, and Ron Paul today - have vigorously opposed the Fed as a threat to America.

    Whatever the truth, they have clearly failed miserably in preventing the current world-class panic.

    Time, perhaps, to investigate them and re-evaluate their utility.

  2. #2
    ritehook's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Lincoln angered the advocates of a central bank by issuing non-interest-bearing "greenbacks" to help finance the Civil War.

    Some think this was the real reason he was assassinated, but no connection has ever been logically proved.

    Abe was also, btw, a strong advocate of economic nationalism, upholding high tariffs on foreign imports so as to encourage domestic industry.