This Week’s Mtg on the Federal Reserve (2/11/10)

The Fed is probably the most important—and powerful part of the government, yet no one knows anything about it.  You can’t hope to understand how the government really operates without a basic idea of what the Fed is and why it matters so much.  .  I was looking over some links, but most of them focus on the highly technical details of how the Fed does what it does, not on anything policy-related that we could really talk about.  So, no point in linking to those (okay, if you insist).  [Update:  just read this instead]

Instead, I’ll just give a short presentation that lays out (1) what the Fed is and what goals it is supposed to be accomplishing; (2) how it operates (without the gory details); and (3) why it wields such enormous power.  Then I’ll list some popular criticisms of the Fed, and we can discuss them, or I can answer technical questions about the institution to the extent I can.

This subject arouses more passions than you’d expect.  Some people think the Fed is basically to blame for all the country’s ills and even that it should be abolished.  Others just want it to have more democratic/political control.  Others think taking away the Fed’s independence and thus “politicizing” it would lead to disaster.  They kind of all have a point, or at least maybe we can have some empathy with where they’re coming from.

Anyway, see you there

BTW, I’ve done a little posting on substantive matters lately.  See last few posts

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