Have you ever wondered what the Federal Reserve is all about? I can assure you that you're not alone. Fortunately, while there's a conspiratorial tone to the clip below, when it comes to explaining some of the broader aspects of what the Federal Reserve is about, the 7 minute clip below does a pretty good job of introducing you to the topic ...
In the FYI category, one of the first academic articles I wrote in 1993 compared the German central bank, the Bundesbank, with our Federal Reserve. You can access it by clicking here (it's in Spanish).
More recently I've written numerous posts on my blog that discuss what's been happening at the Fed, and how they're making financial matters worse in America, which you can access here. In brief, rather than focusing on "maximum employment" and "stable prices" - per a 1977 Federal Reserve amendment - the Fed has concentrated on acting like a financial hammock for our nation's largest financial institutions.
To give you an idea of the "financial hammock" I'm talking about take a look at the chart below. The red section represents what Wall Street's biggest financial institutions got ($4.76 trillion) from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department as part of the post-2008 bailout. The blue section represents what trickled it's way through the economy for the rest of us (via the Fed's infamous "quantitative easing" programs) up through 2011.
To be clear, I believe there is a strong and positive role for a central bank as an institution. Our nation's Federal Reserve, however, is not fulfilling that role.