Two - The public also loses because the banking cartel is able to practice usury - from it's power over a flexible currency to artificially move rates up or down to any level it chooses which many small lenders in a truly free and open market can't do. In addition, the cartel's market dominance forces most borrowers (especially smaller ones less able to issue their own debt instruments) to come to them for loans which it's then able to make using what should be the peoples' money available to them at the lowest possible cost from many highly government regulated small lenders competing for customers.
Three - Through the taxes, we, the public, must pay to cover the interest on the huge national debt (now over $8.4 trillion) accumulated from the money the Fed printed and loaned to the government. As mentioned earlier, that now totals an annualized amount exceeding two-thirds of a trillion dollars and increasing daily. It's made the bankers rich, ordinary people poorer, and the public none the wiser it's been fleeced big time.
Four - Compounding the above abuse, the cartel is able to get the public to bail out the system with more of its tax dollars. It happens whenever any of the too-big-to-fail banks need financial help to survive. The same is true for big corporations like Chrysler or Lockheed, large investment firms or hedge funds like Long-Term Capital Management or even countries like Mexico. It's also true when a single bank goes out of business and depositors must be compensated or more seriously in the wake of a systemic financial meltdown like the one that wiped out many savings and loan banks in the 1980s. Whether it's a single bank or many dozens at a time, public tax dollars are used to save the system or just pick up the tab to repay depositors insured against losses through government insurance protection up to a stipulated amount per account.
How Would Adam Smith Have Reacted to the Federal Reserve System
This concentration of banking cartel wealth and power is the opposite of what Adam Smith, the ideological godfather of free market capitalism, advocated in his writings including his seminal work The Wealth of Nations. Smith wrote about an "invisible hand" that he said worked best in a free market with many small businesses competing locally against each other. He strongly opposed the concentrated mercantilism of his day (what there was of it) which now would be the equivalent of today's giant transnational corporations and the banking cartel with the power to restrict competition, maintain higher prices than otherwise possible and earn greater profits as a result at the public's expense.
The kind of banking cartel that exists today is precisely what Smith would have condemned. But having a central bank is not in itself a bad thing provided the bank is government owned, controlled and operated for the public welfare. There's only a problem when through subterfuge the bank is set up to appear government owned and run but is, in fact, for private profit the way ours is and most others as well. And in the US, to make the arrangement work, a mostly publicly appointed governing authority runs the System acting as a shill for its private for-profit banking cartel members that wanted it in the first place and got a corrupted Congress to give it to them. To work, the cartel needs the cover it gets from its partnership with government, but it's through that arrangement that it harms the public interest for its own private gain.
And that goes to the heart of the problem: that the Congress elected to serve the people instead betrayed them by creating an all-powerful banking cartel and gave it the authority to practice fractional reserve banking with the power to get free money by creating it out of nothing. It then allowed its members a near-monopoly right to set the rates of interest they wish to charge borrowers. The whole process amounts to a legally sanctioned heist by the powerful banks working in league with government for its own gain. It's also part of a more extensive government arranged process to transfer wealth from the people to the pockets of large corporations and the rich and doing it while those being harmed are unaware it's even happening.
Another Way the Federal Reserve System Harms the Public
The Fed harms the public welfare in one other important way, and again most people are none the wiser about it. Supposedly the Federal Reserve System was established to stabilize the economy, smooth out the business cycle, maintain a healthy rate of sustainable growth while holding prices steady and benefitting everyone. So how well has it done its job? Since its creation in 1913, and with them in charge, we had the crashes of 1921 and the most important and remembered one in 1929. That was followed by The Great Depression that lasted until the onset of WW II that noted conservative economist Milton Friedman explained was caused and exacerbated because the Federal Reserve oddly decided to reduce the money supply at a time of economic contraction instead of increasing it. We then had recessions in 1953, 1957, 1969, 1975, 1981, 1990 and 2001. We also had inflation beginning in the 1960s which became quite severe through much of the 1970s and early 1980s. And we had a major banking crisis in the 1980s at which time more banks and savings and loan associations failed than ever before in our history. It happened in the wake of financial market deregulation when banks were allowed to pursue their own interests without government oversight to check their willingness to assume excess risk or stop them from trying to get away with deliberate fraud.
Along with the economic stability the Fed never achieved, we've also had soaring consumer debt; record high federal budget and trade deficits; a high level of personal bankruptcies and rising mortgage loan delinquencies; interest on a mounting national debt that's a large and rising percentage of the federal budget; the loss of our manufacturing base and it's high-paying jobs with good benefits because they're being exported to low wage countries; an economy in which services now account for nearly 80% of all business that provide mostly lower paying, less skilled jobs with few or no benefits; and a widening income and wealth gap that continues to harm lower and middle income earners to benefit the rich and well-off privileged few and a government that encourages it.
Sum it all up and the conclusion is clear. The one thing the Fed failed to accomplish above all else was what it was established to do in the first place. But it's much worse than that if we understand a cartel's real motives. It's not to serve the public interest. It's to abuse it because that's how it benefits most. It's able to do it with its legally sanctioned concentrated power and a friendly government in league with it as partners or facilitators. It's from that cozy hidden from view arrangement that it's able to get away with the grandest of grand thefts.
A Needed Solution to A Huge Problem
From the information presented above, it's clear that the Federal Reserve System was established through stealth and deceit by a handful of corrupted politicians in service to their powerful banking and Wall Street allies. They did it to defraud the public and without them being any the wiser about what, in fact, had been done or how harmful it was to be to their welfare and interests. Those in the Congress and President Wilson (a man trained in the law, one-time practicing attorney, former esteemed academic and president of Princeton University) either knew or should have known that the act he and they approved establishing the Fed was in direct violation of the Constitution they were sworn to uphold. They didn't, they broke the law, and the public paid dearly for their crime ever since to this day.
So what recourse is left, and can people be mobilized to pursue it. There's only one sensible and just solution to undo the damage done to so many for so long - abolish the Federal Reserve System and restore the power it now has to the federal government working for the public welfare. Take it back from the powerful banking cartel working against it and never allow it to be in its hands again. That alone is the only way. The great German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht would have agreed and once said it was "easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up (one)."
Freeing us from the these powerful "Money Changers" would have enormous benefits for everyone. It would establish a prudent policy of money creation that would minimize our most unfair tax - inflation which is caused by private for-profit bankers manipulating the nation's money supply to enhance their profits. It would stabilize the economy and smooth out the extremes in the business cycle exacerbated by the cartel working for its benefit and against ours. It would lower the cost of money for borrowers because it would end the monopoly power the cartel now has to set the rates it chooses by opening the market to more competition. It would reduce the growing and oppressive national debt freed eventually from the extra money supply growth needed to pay it off. It would lower the public's tax burden as less revenue would be needed for debt service. It would be a momentous step toward reducing and hopefully one day eliminating the overwhelming power of all predatory corporate giants preying on us so they can grow and prosper. It might even discourage wars which are only fought for wealth and power - never for glory or to make the world safe for democracy or other false motives. Without a powerful corporate banking cartel and other industry giants that feed on the human misery they create, there would be less of a reason to pursue any. Try to imagine that kind of world and a government working for the public welfare instead of harming it as it now must do in service to capital. That world is possible, and responsible people need to work for it as the one we now have has failed and must be changed before it's too late.