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Fed Up with the Fed

March 6, 2012
Rep. Ron Paul
3/5/2012

While the Fed has recently released an unprecedented amount of information on its activities, there is still much that remains unknown.  Predictably, every push towards transparency has been fought tooth and nail.  It took disclosure requirements enacted within the Dodd-Frank Act to get the Fed to provide data on its emergency lending facilities.  It took lawsuits filed by Bloomberg and Fox News to provide data on discount window lending during the worst parts of the financial crisis.  And it will take further concerted action on the part of Congress, the media, and the public to keep up pressure on the Fed to become and remain transparent.

Transparency is not a panacea, however, as a fully transparent organization is still capable of engaging in all sorts of mischief.  Ironically, one of the Fed’s more egregious recent actions, adopting an explicit inflation target, was hailed by many as another wonderful example of transparency.  Yet if you think about what this 2% inflation target actually is, you realize that it is an explicit policy to devalue the dollar and reduce its purchasing power.  And it adds up quickly over time.  Two percent annual price inflation means that prices rise 22% within a decade, and nearly 50% within two decades.

It is worse than that, however.  This explicit 2% target also fails to take into account that whatever measure is used to determine price inflation, be it CPI, core CPI, PCE, etc., will always be chosen with an eye towards underreporting the true rate of inflation and price rises.  Pressure will be exerted on those calculating the price indices, so as not to alarm the public when prices begin to accelerate.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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