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Ron Paul: End The Fed

A week from now, the Federal Reserve System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Resulting from secret negotiations between bankers and politicians at Jekyll Island, the Fed’s creation established a banking cartel and a board of government overseers that has grown ever stronger through the years. One would…

A week from now, the Federal Reserve System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Resulting from secret negotiations between bankers and politicians at Jekyll Island, the Fed’s creation established a banking cartel and a board of government overseers that has grown ever stronger through the years. One would think this anniversary would elicit some sort of public recognition of the Fed’s growth from a quasi-agent of the Treasury Department intended to provide an elastic currency, to a de facto independent institution that has taken complete control of the economy through its central monetary planning. But just like the Fed’s creation, its 100th anniversary may come and go with only a few passing mentions.

Like many other horrible and unconstitutional pieces of legislation, the bill which created the Fed, the Federal Reserve Act, was passed under great pressure on December 23, 1913, in the waning moments before Congress recessed for Christmas with many Members already absent from those final votes. This underhanded method of pressuring Congress with such a deadline to pass the Federal Reserve Act would provide a foreshadowing of the Fed’s insidious effects on the US economy—with actions performed without transparency.

Ostensibly formed with the goal of preventing financial crises such as the Panic of 1907, the Fed has become increasingly powerful over the years. Rather than preventing financial crises, however, the Fed has constantly caused new ones. Barely a few years after its inception, the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy to help fund World War I led to the Depression of 1920. After the economy bounced back from that episode, a further injection of easy money and credit by the Fed led to the Roaring Twenties and to the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in American history.

But even though the Fed continued to make the same mistakes over and over again, no one in Washington ever questioned the wisdom of having a central bank. Instead, after each episode the Fed was given more and more power over the economy. Even though the Fed had brought about the stagflation of the 1970s, Congress decided to formally task the Federal Reserve in 1978 with maintaining full employment and stable prices, combined with constantly adding horrendously harmful regulations. Talk about putting the inmates in charge of the asylum!

Now we are reaping the noxious effects of a century of loose monetary policy, as our economy remains mired in mediocrity and utterly dependent on a stream of easy money from the central bank. A century ago, politicians failed to understand that the financial panics of the 19th century were caused by collusion between government and the banking sector. The government’s growing monopoly on money creation, high barriers to entry into banking to protect politically favored incumbents, and favored treatment for government debt combined to create a rickety, panic-prone banking system. Had legislators known then what we know now, we could hope that they never would have established the Federal Reserve System.

Today, however, we do know better. We know that the Federal Reserve continues to strengthen the collusion between banks and politicians. We know that the Fed’s inflationary monetary policy continues to reap profits for Wall Street while impoverishing Main Street. And we know that the current monetary regime is teetering on a precipice. One hundred years is long enough. End the Fed.

ron paul

Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.

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34 comments

The Power to Steal December 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm

The biggest supporters of the Fed are the older generations, the ones closest to power and living high by stealing wealth from younger generations via money printing.

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cuvinny December 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

That is just a dumb argument. The Fed (at least over the last 30 years) keeps inflation at a steady 2% to 3%. If anything that helps younger generations as it lowers the worth of student loans. It hurts people who just store money in the bank which younger people probably have less of.

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The Power to Steal December 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

If it wasn’t for money printing, old people wouldn’t be getting their social security checks(because there’s not enough money for it), nor retired Federal workers or retired military.

All old people, all getting checks because money is printed that is saddling the country’s youth with a debt that not only can’t be paid back, but is stealing opportunity in the way of good fundamental economics for younger people trying to get jobs outside of working in government or the military.

“inflation at a steady 2% to 3%” is a fantasy only the bamboozled believe.

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Torch December 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Let’s just cut the military and get the hell out of Afghanistan. Wouldn’t have to print as much money.

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james December 16, 2013 at 9:08 am

inflation is not just the cpi. the word originally meant an increase in the money supply. its effects differ however. it can manifest itself across different asset classes and historically has gone toward assets before consumer goods. . secondly, no question on your second point, 100% correct.

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Centrist View December 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm

:…financial crises such as the Panic of 1907….”

You can argue whether the Fed has made things worse or better, but there always have and always will be cycles of boom and bust. There were were economic bubbles before there was the United States.

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Yes, No, Maybe December 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

What you can’t argue though, is the fact that they “print” money, stealing wealth from savers and anyone holding cash, which is inherently immoral.

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Slartibartfast December 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm

If printing money is theft, then the Fed is a horse thief!

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MashPotato December 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

It’s as simple as this- counterfeiting is illegal because if everyone could counterfeit, the value of the money would go down. The Fed counterfeits money by the trillions.

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Money, money everywhere December 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Maybe I had my own printing press I could do so and just call it “QE” and no one would care.

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euwe max December 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Which one of you geniuses is going to explain how we borrowed trillions of dollars into existence, and gas is still less than $4.00 a gallon?

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The Power to Steal December 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The fact is that gas has increased by a 1/3 since 06′, meaning even if we used your simplistic suggestion via your metric(raw money supply), that there has been a rise in gas prices.

The printing of money doesn’t not uniformly raise prices across all assets, as shown with the real estate bubble for example. You also are not considering the effect of the money creation being stuffed into the reserves of banks who in turn buy US bonds. It is simply a time bomb waiting to go off aside from the fact the taxpayer is continuously bailing out the big 6 banks. I suppose if you think that bailing out the TBTF’s was necessary to “save the little people”, that probably doesn’t matter much to you.

If we all lived life surviving only on gas then I suppose a short term increase of only a 1/3 in gas prices over the last 7 years would be considered a victory. Unfortunately we need eggs, fruits, vegetables, etc.

More importantly then even all that is a simple question:

If wealth can be created out of thin air, why isn’t Zimbabwe wealthy? Why didn’t it work for Weimar Germany? Why hasn’t it worked for Argentina?

If your answer is, “They didn’t have the world’s reserve currency.”, well then I submit to you that while I short term there may be benefit to doing so, it distorts our own capital markets and further unsustainable balance in markets on the basis of said money creation.

In other words, we will pay the piper at some point, the bet everyone is trying to make is “when”.

If everyone thought that money creation was the answer, why would the Fed even talk about “tapering”? If you have an answer for that, I’m all ears.

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Yes, No, Maybe December 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

The insidious part of this is that while gas has gone up a third since 06′, median income as only gone up only 10% but unemployment has risen by almost 40%.

So if you are lucky enough to have a job, your raises in the last 6 years haven’t been enough to cover the increase in cost of living because of inflation.

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euwe max December 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

The fact is that gas has increased by a 1/3 since 06′, meaning even if we used your simplistic suggestion via your metric(raw money supply), that there has been a rise in gas prices.

——-
I’m too simple minded to understand. Maybe you can show me how much the gas price has increased since 1979 – and while you do, would you mind showing me how much money we “printed” since 1979?

If you don’t like gas, try the price of milk.

Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
      Simple Max.

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The Power to Steal December 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm

“Maybe you can show me how much the gas price has increased since 1979”

You have google at your disposal, use it.

“If you don’t like gas, try the price of milk.”

The problem with milk is that it is government subsidized.

If you are looking for inflation indicators rather than cherry picking “gas” or “milk”, you might try the WPI, MIT billion prices index, or several others. Google again is readily available.

“would you mind showing me how much money we “printed?””

Once again, you can use google, but assuming you are trying to draw a distinction between the word “printing” and the creation of money(for which there is none in layman’s terms) but more importantly the monetary base:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/U.S._Monetary_base.png

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Yes, No, Maybe December 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm
The Power to Steal December 15, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Actually, he went back and edited his question to reflect/cherry pick 79′ only. But prior to him changing it, I specifically linked monetary base because it gives you a more accurate picture of the money creation event.

I’m sure he’s focusing on 79′ because of the stagflation going on at the time. Regardless, he doesn’t answer my earlier questions, but instead ignores them(maybe because he has no answers about money creation as being a wealth generator?).

Anyway, the monetary base provides a better insight on how much money has been created BEFORE the multiplier kicks in. There is no “solid gold” answer because it doesn’t exist, just indicators. You can get pretty close though by looking at the monetary base, assuming you don’t take the Feds at their word in claiming they are creating $85 billion a month currently.

euwe max December 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Anyone else care to explain their doomsday scenarios because of “printing” money?

KittenJuggler December 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Banks don’t buy gas. Banks do buy equities. The stock market is way up even though the fundamental underpinning (i.e. the economy) is not.

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Smirks December 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm

“Ending” the Federal Reserve is pretty much an impossible goal at this point in time. What is a very worthwhile and achievable goal is questioning the Fed. Grill nominees, speak out against their actions, demand audits and transparency. Most of all, get the public to want the same. I realize this is being done to a certain extent already, but run very vocal campaigns about it. Circumvent the MSM that silences such voices and get the word out.

Get a good number of the average voters to question the Fed and want to peek inside, that will scare the shit out of them.

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Anthony J. Alfidi December 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I do not expect a Fed taper this week. The FOMC won’t hand a market crash to Yellen before she takes office. http://alfidicapitalblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/markets-await-unlikely-fed-taper.html

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SparkleCity December 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

Real easy fix Ron-Boy:

Just get the “black helicopters” to pick up the fed and all its inhabitants and drop the whole shebang into the Bermuda Triangle where the Trilateral Commission headquarters in underwater Atlantis will take it from there.

Problem solved!!!!!

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PostSurgeOperative December 16, 2013 at 2:26 am

Save the Fed. END RON PAUL!

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Cliche's are arguments December 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Never one to let logic penetrate your skull, kudos to your stick to itness.

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Cleveland Steamer December 16, 2013 at 12:47 am

If not for the fed, we would have had 10 depressions. We are the greatest country in thehistory of the world (to some folks), in part due to the fed pumping trillions into programs that some don’t agree with, myself included. Turn it over to free market and we are back to kings and serfs. We get closer to that daily.

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Closer December 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

We already have kings and serfs. The ruling elite love “democracy” because it makes you feel like we are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

If you want equality of opportunity, free market is the way to go. If you want equality of condition, central planning and a central bank is the way to go.

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drmikevasovski December 16, 2013 at 1:36 am

Thank you Ron Paul for bringing monetary policy to the point that so many people are at least thinking and talking about it.
I recall Paul saying that the Fed stopped reporting the money supply (money in circulation) a few years ago because it was “too expensive to calculate”. Probably b/c they didn’t want the real numbers easily available on Google.

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Frank Pytel December 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

Shite. #NSA can’t even track that number.

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Torch December 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

When is this tired old fart going to stay at home and play with his grandchildren?

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tomstickler December 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Typical conspiracy-tinged rant about “The Fed”.

In reality, the Federal Reserve serves as the nation’s central bank, and as a “bank of last resort” during times of financial crisis when the “too big to fail” banks have screwed up.

Monetary policy by the Fed is handicapped when interest rates are near zero, and the refusal by Republicans like Ron and Rand Paul to help the recovery through fiscal policy is the reason this recovery lags. It is Republicans who are crippling the Dodds-Frank reform of the banking system. It is Republicans who are demanding austerity in a time that needs stimulus spending.

But, all these economic realities are opposed by the ideological right, and those not members of the 1% have to suffer for it.

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I'm with stupid December 17, 2013 at 2:33 am

So how many more years of stimulus spending do we need? We’ve been engaging in stimulation since 08′. How many more years and how much more money do we need to spend for it to be effective?

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nitrat December 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Since we were on the verge of Great Depression II, it should have been almost on scale of the mobilization for WWII.
But, Republicans can’t learn from history…real history, not revisionist history.

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I'm with stupid December 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm

So how much do we need to spend? What number would do the trick in 09?

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Angelko Bogdanov December 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Let me get this straight. For all you who think the think FED I is this wonderful creature. Then tell me why the fed was created in secret on Jekyll island in Georgia between a few bankers, I think one politician, I believe his name was Nelson Aldrich a senator.The bill was passed Dec.23,1913,when most of congress went home for the holidays and couldn’t vote………….interesting! They tell us it was created to stabilize the economy so they had to pass the bill………shades of Nancy Pelosi in there some were, but why all the secrecy.

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