by Charles I. Plosser, et al.
February 04, 2014
The Great Depression left a black mark on the nation’s central bank, and the Great Recession has vastly expanded the bank’s powers. In 1913 the dollar was defined in terms of gold. Today we have a pure fiat money, and the Federal Reserve is the largest buyer of U.S. public debt, enabling the government to live beyond its means. Would we have been better off adhering to the rules of a gold standard? At the 31st Annual Monetary Conference, experts considered the record of the Federal Reserve since its establishment in December 1913. Speakers included Charles I. Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Leszek Balcerowicz, former chairman of the National Bank of Poland; Lewis E. Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute; and John A. Allison, president and CEO of the Cato Institute.