The Federal Reserve: 100 Years of Boom and Bust

My opening remarks:
Welcome to the world premiere of the Federal Reserve: 100 Years of Boom and Bust. I’m Murray Sabrin professor of finance in the Anisfield School of business.

This project began in September 2012 and the final edit was just completed. I bring this up because it only takes nine months to have a baby. Hopefully this baby will be just as adorable as a newborn.

Before we view the documentary, I’d like to put 1913 in historical perspective.

1913 was, in many ways, one of the most extraordinary years in American history. In fact, according to one analyst a revolution took place in 1913.

1913 began with the ratification of the 16th amendment, which gives the federal government authority to tax the income of the American people directly. We will explore the income tax on April 17 next year at a symposium I will moderate. So save the date April 17 at 7p.m. in the Trustee’s Pavilion.

In April of 1913 the 17th amendment to the Constitution was ratified ending the selection of US senators by state legislatures. Now the U.S. Senators would be elected directly by the people.

And on December 23 President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act giving the United States a permanent central bank. All these events took place at the end of what is known as the Progressive Era, a time of supposedly great reforms to benefit the common man. Half a century ago historian Gabriel Kolko challenged the orthodox view in his trailblazing book, The Triumph of Conservatism. Kolko argued that the progressive era was in reality a time when big business interests used the power of the federal government for their own benefit at the expense of the general public.

One of the last so-called reforms of the era was the creation of the Federal Reserve.

In short, the revolution of 1913 shifted power from individuals, communities and states to the federal government and its powerful allies in the private sector. Hence, the Progressive Era expanded crony capitalism in America.

The documentary, the Federal Reserve: 100 Years of Boom Bust, explores the impact of the Fed on the US economy for the past century.

I hope you enjoy the documentary and I would be happy to take a few questions after we view tonight’s presentation.

Suggested Readings

William A. Fleckenstein with Frederick Sheehan, GREENSPAN’S BUBBLES: THE AGE OF IGNORANCE AT THE FEDERAL RESERVE
Kel Kelly, How the Stock Market and Economy Really Work, (http://mises.org/daily/4654)

Murray N. Rothbard, WHAT HAS GOVERNMENT DONE TO OUR MONEY? (https://mises.org/document/617/What-Has-Government-Done-to-Our-Money)
———————————-, ECONOMIC DEPRESSIONS: THEIR CAUSE AND CURE (https://mises.org/document/2668/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure)
_____________________________, HISTORY OF MONEY AND BANKING IN THE UNITED STATES: THE COLONIAL ERA TO WORLD WAR II (https://mises.org/document/1022/History-of-Money-and-Banking-in-the-United-States-The-Colonial-Era-to-World-War-II)
______________________________, THE MYSTERY OF BANKING, (https://mises.org/document/614/Mystery-of-Banking-The)
_____________________________, AMERICA’S GREAT DEPRESSION, (https://mises.org/document/694/Americas-Great-Depression)
_____________________________, THE CASE AGAINST THE FED (https://mises.org/document/3430/The-Case-Against-the-Fed)
Ludwig von Mises , ON THE MANIPULATION OF MONEY AND CREDIT (https://mises.org/document/687/Manipulation-of-Money-and-Credit-On-the)
________________, THE CAUSES OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS, AND OTHER ESSAYS BEFORE AND AFTER THE GREAT DEPRESSION (https://mises.org/document/3361/The-Causes-of-the-Economic-Crisis-and-Other-Essays-Before-and-After-the-Great-Depression)
Joseph T. Salerno, MONEY, SOUND AND UNSOUND, (https://mises.org/document/5827/Money-Sound-and-Unsound)
David A. Stockman, THE GREAT DEFORMATION; THE CORRUPTION OF CAPITALISM IN AMERICA
Thomas E. Woods, MELTDOWN: A FREE-MARKET LOOK AT WHY THE STOCK MARKET COLLAPSED, THE ECONOMY TANKED, AND GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS WILL MAKE THINGS WORSE.

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