Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm "Fed' Up! - We've been told not to imagine a world without the Federal Reserve. Maybe we should.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa, The New Republic Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Ron Paul, Norfed's candidate of choice
Getty Images
Ron Paul, Norfed's candidate of choice

WASHINGTON--Recently, The Washington Post carried a front-page story about a federal raid on the headquarters of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and Internal Revenue Code (Norfed). The Indiana-based company, which advocates "sound money," has been selling coins and paper certificates backed by gold and silver for years, in effect trying to compete with the dollar.

The government ignored Norfed's "Liberty Dollars" for a long time--until the group started selling thousands of coins with Ron Paul's likeness to show support for the Republican presidential candidate. Paul also wants to abolish the Federal Reserve.

To the public at large, the activities of Norfed seem utopian, naive and even downright fraudulent. The idea that the world's greatest economy could be run without a central bank and private parties could replace the government as issuers of currency is one that many people will find scary. With the dollar in something of a free fall and the United States in the midst of a housing and credit crisis that has sent some of the nation's top CEOs packing, Americans will be looking for financial security, not monetary adventures.

And yet it is precisely in such a financially wobbly environment that the actions of Norfed should invite a critical look at the way money is managed. Some of the country's greatest economists, including Nobel Prize winners, have been saying for years that the Federal Reserve has probably caused more problems than it has solved since its creation in 1913. Its role in the last century's boom and bust cycles is a matter of record; it looks as though it played a similar role in the current housing market crisis too. ...the rest of the story...

No comments: