By Mike Krauss
The Federal Reserve, the
"central bank" of the United States likes to portray itself as an independent
regulator of the nation's banking and finance, guardian of the nation's money
Reporting neither to the
president or Congress, its decisions and actions are hidden from public review
and its pronouncements are made in a language no ordinary American can
Above all, the Fed works
hard to maintain an image of being above politics.
It's a con game.
The Fed has more power
over the lives of the American people than any of our elected representatives.
It controls our money and it uses that control to pick winners and losers.
When the biggest banks
on Wall Street began collapsing in 2008, their failure unleashed a tsunami of
home foreclosures, unemployment and economic contraction, a massive social
catastrophe that rolls on -- retirees reduced to poverty, pensions wiped out,
students saddled with massive debt and no job prospects, businesses starved for
affordable credit, Americans without food in a land of plenty.
What did the Fed do? It
pumped more than $20 trillion of almost interest free money into the major
banks and left the American people to fend for themselves. Of course, the Fed
didn't tell anybody what it was doing, because, well, you know, people might
get the wrong idea.
People might think the
Fed was a fraud, feeding the American people some BS about keeping inflation in
check and maintaining employment, while all along it was just part of a private
banking cartel, working for its owners, the biggest banks and wealthiest
families in the U.S. and the word.
Which of course is what
Less than $200 billion, a fraction of 1 percent of the nearly interest free money lavished by the Fed on Wall Street could have wiped out every state budget shortfall in the nation at the time, kept schools and vital municipal services fully funded.
of that $20 trillion made available to local banks on the same terms could have
kept affordable credit flowing in our communities, kept business going, the
economy sound and prevented the explosion of unemployment and home
And while Wall Street
hoarded that vast subsidy to prop up balance sheets and its stock prices, paid
it out in mega salaries and bonuses to the bankster CEOs, used it to back even
more of the gambles that had caused the collapse, while ever more wealth flowed
up to the few and small businesses and families kept going on credit cards with
interest rates at 15 or 19 or 24 percent or more -- from banks that got their
money from the Fed almost for free -- the Fed set out to funnel yet more
trillions to the Wall Street banks.
With a straight face,
Fed Chairman Bernanke and all the other money changers down at the temple,
including the one nominated to succeed him, continue to tell the American
people that it is in their interest to dole out more trillions to Wall Street
in a program given the sort of academic sounding label behind which the Fed
likes to hide: "Quantitative Easing."
More like Never Ending
The Fed wields an
enormous power never before seen in the United States, unaccountable to the
American people, and it uses that power to preserve, protect and defend the
wealth of its one and only constituency: the biggest banks and the wealthiest