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The Federal Reserve Board and the Presidential Candidates


The Federal Reserve Board and the Presidential Candidates

Dean Baker

Some of the folks watching the Republican presidential debates were struck by the fact that Donald Trump was apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the nuclear triad: that the United States maintains a nuclear force composed of land based missiles, submarine based missiles, and strategic bombers that can deliver nuclear weapons. This is the sort of basic knowledge of the U.S. military that someone hoping to be president should have.


"The other candidates" DO understand the role and power of the Federal Reserve (Fed). Their campaigns, however, concentrate on wedge issues and distraction issues while ignoring the economic issues that affect us. They also don't give a rip if Fed actions reduce jobs for Murkins. The fewer jobs and the more economic distress that exists among the 99%, the better their shock doctrine political strategies work.


The "gift" of the the FED to a President is a good economy. The President is rewarded if he supports the revolving door appointments between Wall Street Bankers, and Fed members (Cabinet appointees also) . Otherwise, the economy contracts, jobs falter, and misery ensues.The fallacy, of course, is the President takes responsibility for the economy to make political hay.


"Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the only presidential candidate who went on record with a comment on the Fed's action, criticizing the Fed for slowing the economy and preventing people from getting jobs. This raises the obvious question of whether the other candidates understand the importance of the Fed to the economy."

Go Bernie.


The Fed claims it wants to get interest rates back to normal levels. You can argue that they should have waited longer, On the other hand they only raised the rate by a quarter of a percentage point and said they would go slowly on raising rates. There is a fear that overborrowing at low rates could produce another bubble. This is particularly a concern with regard to the fracking industry where there has been a lot of borrowing and the price of oil has greatly decreased. Frankly, I don't see this increase in the rate as being a big deal. Increasing and decreasing rates is not a science. There is room for plenty of opinions on this stuff.


Interest rates have been manipulated low for over 20 years and seems to have benefited the 1% more than anyone else. The trade deficit is huge because we do not produce things here in the US as much as we used to. We ship our resources but we do not make goods, products that we need. We have to buy from China and how does that help ordinary people except we can get cheap sh*t from China. If people don't have jobs and are barely making ends meet they can't take advantage of the cheap interest rates.
The low interest rates manipulated by the feds drives the bubbles??? especially when 1% was given money at 0% and they went around investing in real estate all over the world and now people can't even afford to rent decent living space let alone buy a house at cheap interest rates.
The 1% benefits and some aspiring 1%centers.


Would the Fed be in the business of getting obscenely rich off the people if were on the gold standard?


Or perhaps there are other legitimate candidates but they believe their voters are big savers and are celebrating because they will finally earn some interest from their bank accounts. Getting 0.01% interest gets frustrating after awhile.


Today on meet the press with Andrea Mitchell(who is she married to?) hosting there was a running theme-Bernie Sanders can't handle foreign policy-even though all the commentators echoed what Sanders was saying. The word not spoken but implied through out is that Sanders is Jewish,and how is he going to be able to bring the middle east together. Its interesting because Mitchell is also Jewish.

To Sanders credit he repeatedly returned to real issues effecting most Americans.Of course Mitchell only wanted to focus on Trump,Clinton and Isis.

Mitchell said that the polls show that most Americans don't care about the economy-so why talk about the economy.

Whats incredible is with interest rates this low for this long the economy should be on fire-booming-but it isn't. Instead we have had the reverse- companies consolidating to protect themselves,and massive debt being created. And the theme going into this rate hike was "one and done".But after the rate hike the Fed said it would continue hiking 3 to 4 times in 2016. This is almost a replay of the depression >and it took the massive investment in the economy from WWII to finally get the economy moving.

Sanders one trillion for infer-structure is a starting point. Sanders is offering the peaceful way to a stronger economy. Any of these other candidates would use war as a means to drive the economy.


The Fed has made it clear that it eventually wants to raise interest rates to more normal levels. The economy created over 200,000 jobs last month and has created jobs for about 70 straight months. The unemployment rate is 5% which is almost as low as it ever goes. Of course Sanders wants to talk about the economy because that is his issue. Due to a couple of tragic events Americans are now more concerned about terrorism and specifically ISIS. I am sure neither O'Malley nor Clinton would use war to drive the economy. Americans are sick of war. The only candidate who has even suggested using ground troops in the Middle East is Lindsey Graham and he has given up trying to become president. I would worry about requests for large military spending to counter the build up of the Chinese navy in the South China sea. I don't think China is an expansionist threat but I think there will be a lot fear mongering about this naval buildup by the Chinese.


I concur on the effects of low interest rates-that being anything for the overnight rate below 2%. Rates that low only help people who invest in moving jobs overseas. How many people would not like to have a safe place to put a few dollars each week that earned more than the inflation rate? Millions would save if the interest on savings were something around 4%. Only the folks with the ability to invest in lucrative schemes (got a spare million or two?) that place factories on the other side of the Pacific Rim or in other countries that have a lax ( more lax than ours) regulatory system.


Zero interest rates do not draw investors into making loans to small businesses. I would like to see proof of the statement:"It also discourages businesses from borrowing to finance new investment." What discourages investors more than anything is the lack of paying customers. Customers who have an income with future-about $85k/yr for a family of four.


Eliminate the IRS and abolish the federal income tax. Apportion all future tax collection and revenue management at the state level and create a governing body of 3 representatives from each state agreeing by majority on a budget allowance their state grants to the federal government with specific rules on how much of what gets spent on what federal projects and programs.

Abolish the Federal reserve and nullify the federal debt in one swoop (basically go BK and tell them they are SOL) and prohibit any form of any federal central bank from existing as any form of governing body or representative of the 50 states. If any bank wants a bail-out, they have to appeal to other bankers to loan them money, not the government at the expense of tax payers for knowingly violating laws regarding fractional reserve lending standards.

Give the "right to coin money" back to congress, as they can print money as needed without any interest rate. Of course, there is the risk of inflation as well, this can be managed by the secretary of treasury (which needs to be restructured) and create regulations for what printed money can be applied to, and loan that out at some arbitrary "fed fund rate" that doesn't influence the market, but rather changes with the market environments. In this case, Congress can approve to issue loans to students seeking financial aid at 3-5% (or less or more) APR compared to the 10% APR or whatever other private lenders are lending at. And create regulations on how interest paid back must be used build savings so future printing isn't needed to make loans, and/or reinvest excess funds into public education programs and infrustructure (Tax free spending people.... Interest paid funding by people who went to school for people who will go to school. More people who go, the better the system gets. Repeat this for construction, investments (public-private-partnerships), federal trade, national guard, health, federal programs, etc...

States that collect federal funds to support their financial health can still appeal to borrow money from congress in the same ways too, and decide what state income tax and other tax rates would be needed to balance their budget. Many states operate with little to no income tax while Federal income tax can potentially reach 39.6% (est. 2016). As such interest repaid is allocated into pools to lend out again and/or held on reserve to bailout and assist a state, county, or city that is in financial hardships. That means we the people get bailed out, not the banks.

Anybody familiar with Austrian economics would understand how the market would balance itself out without any federal reserve boards. In addition to that, The Federal Reserve has existed before as the 1st and 2nd Bank of U.S which destroyed the nation so bad nobody wanted them back, and Andrew Jackson made sure they stayed dead. Between the death of the 2nd Bank of U.S and 1913, there was no central banking institution.


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Sorry but you are wrong. Bernie was NOT the first candidate to discuss this. In fact out of the candidates, it was Rand Paul, then Ted Cruz and only now it's Bernie.

Further, you might want to research more about what Bernie did a few years ago. Do you remember that horrible financial regulation bill named Dodd-Frank? Well buddy Bernie was the one who went into bed with Dodd Frank to make that into law and screwed over Ron Paul on the Audit the Fed Bill.

Yes that is right. The politician you are applauding KILLED the Audit the Fed Bill in the senate. This article is thus bullocks. Please get your facts checked next time.


They're wrong. Actually your boy Bernie is the third candidate to discuss this, first being Rand Paul and second being Ted Cruz. Further, Bernie killed the Audit the Fed bill a few years ago in the senate. Typical politician. He is notorious for getting in bed with the opposition to pass crappy legislation and in this case, he killed the Audit the Fed Bill and helped pass the horrid, Dodd-Frank Legislation. Congratulations


You're such an obvious shill.

The economy is a fraud and anyone paying attention knows that!

Any jobs created for the most part were part-time jobs. Often employers will keep the employees on temp. schedules in order not to pay benefits.

Paul Craig Roberts pointed out the high numbers of high school and young college graduates living at home. There are also those no longer counted (on the unemployment rolls) who have given up searching for work.

Many jobs pay a fraction of what prior industrial jobs paid prior to NAFTA (and its cousins) shipping work overseas to cheaper labor markets.

The unemployment rate is hardly 5%. And the 200,000 jobs created were in things like retail or fast food.