By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: Every month, rise or shine, the Federal Reserve Bank, an institution that most Americans believe is a branch of government, or a federally run Central Bank has one of its computers add $55 billion---that's dollars with a B--to its ledger and balance sheet.
In actual fact, the FED, as its known is actually a private institution in government trappings, owned by, and run by, the very banks it is thought to regulate. It actually has kept the economy afloat since August 2007 when the financial crisis began (not 2008 as most media outlets have it) with a printing press, adding an infusion since then of $3.4 TRILLION.
At first, the Fed's economics professor turned bank president, Ben Bernanke, was called "Helicopter Ben" in an allusion to all the money he was bombing the economy with. His term ended, but the practice, now barely questioned, goes on.
And why is that? To put it simply, the financial crisis is still with us, whatever talk there is of "recovery" because of structural realities that haven't changed. A weak "labor market, depressed housing market, and little economic growth keep unemployment up, and misery high, for our shrining middle class and growing poverty class.
The folks in charge know how bad things are, but they are committed to a monetary magic elixir of constant intervention by keeping interest rates low and purchasing mortgage-backed securities in the so-called free market.
Capitalism remains in deep crisis but you never hear officials use the "C word." Of course not: that would suggest a problem with the system.