December 23, 2013
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Today the Federal Reserve System will celebrate its centennial. 100 years ago today, in the waning moments before the Christmas recess, Congress passed (along partisan lines), the Federal Reserve Act. Some called it a perfect Christmas present. Still, many knew that the Fed was anything but an "economic Fourth of July" for the US, as magnate Paul Warburg called it.
The role of the Federal Reserve has changed over the years. Originally an arm of the Treasury Department, the Fed has transformed into a mysterious, independent institution which sets monetary policy at the behest of the banking establishment in collusion with the government.