The Federal Reserve is the most powerful central bank in the world.
Without its central bank, the American economy would be subject to
devastating fluctuations and instability. In maintaining this
stability, The Fed dictates interest rates and designs bailouts
without the usual checks and balances that pervade US policy
making. Most commentators treat the Fed as an impartial referee
exercising its independence to advance the best interests of
America. Wrong. Lawrence Jacobs and Desmond King's Fed Power is the
first sustained examination of the Fed as a potent institution in
its own right and an engine for producing concealed advantages for
a privileged few. The authors trace the Fed's historic development
from the fiery tug-of-war over monetary policy during the 19th
century to its current position as a powerful cog in the "big
government" machine with unparalleled capacity and autonomy to
intervene in private markets. Jacobs and King dissect how the Fed's
programs during the Great Recession funneled enormous sums to a
select few in the finance industry while leaving Main Street
businesses adrift and millions of homeowners underwater. Far from
serving the national interest, the Fed increased economic
inequality in America and further enriched the "one percent."
America is heading into the next financial crisis without an
effective central bank. 'End the Fed' is a popular slogan that not
only voices the people's displeasure with the Fed's favoritism, but
also speaks to a national feeling of the Fed's illegitimacy.
Lacking a powerful and capable central bank is a roadmap to mass
unemployment and impoverishment. Jacobs and King present an
energetic reform agenda to build an accountable central bank in
America to ensure the economy remains stable and prosperous.