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Is The Federal Reserve A Philosopher King?

Publication Date: 
April 16, 2014
Library of Law and Liberty
Alex J. Pollock

Rock Center Fellow Peter Conti-Brown joins a discussion on the nature of the Federal Reserve for The Library of Law and Liberty.

A lively and informed discussion was held at the American Enterprise Institute on March 20, 2014 on the question: Is the Federal Reserve a philosopher king or servant of the treasury? Alex Pollock, a frequent contributor to Law and Liberty and participant in the AEI discussion, offers here in condensed form the arguments and the instructive history presented.

Peter Conti-Brown: “False Dichotomy”

The title question was chosen by the stylistically elegant and provocative Alex Pollock. But I am going to claim a false dichotomy: there are elements of both extraordinary autonomy and total subservience in the Fed’s history and in its structure, and of something else. Indeed, I think the entire conversation about Fed independence, in the form that conversation usually takes, is confused.