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There’s probably no institution in American life that has more effect on how you
live, but that we talk about less than the Federal Reserve. People don’t care to talk about the Federal Reserve because it seems very complex and a lot of what it does is in fact complex. Unless you have a grounding in monetary policy, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on. But the basics aren’t that complicated, actually, and here are a few of them.
The Federal Reserve was created way back in 1913 by an act of Congress, and it had really two main goals: maximize employment and keep prices stable—keep inflation under control. Those are virtuous goals. But it may be a measure of the way that bureaucracies work, that over time the Federal Reserve has actively undermined both of those objectives.
It’s the classic story of the fireman turned arsonist or, for that matter, the COVID czar who helped create COVID. Irony of ironies—seems like we read a lot of those lately. In the case of the Federal Reserve, consider something called quantitative easing. That’s the main thing the Fed has been doing since the financial crisis