According to media reports, in a private farewell speech, outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner dubbed Ben Bernanke "the Buddha of central bankers." This may seem over the top, but perhaps Secretary Geithner's comments were based on the peace and tranquility the Fed's record holdings of federal debt have brought statists of all parties.
According to data released Thursday, the Federal Reserve is currently holding $1,696,691,000,000 worth of government debt -- and if, as is likely, the Senate goes along with the House-passed legislation giving Treasury unlimited "temporary" authority to increase the debt limit, the Fed may have the opportunity to obtain much more federal debt in the next few months.
While the amount of government debt held by the Federal Reserve may stand at historic proportions, the Fed has always served as the enabler of deficit spending. It is the Fed's eagerness to monetize government debt that allows the statists to expand the welfare-warfare state without having to impose politically untenable levels of taxation on the people. This is why reform of the monetary system should be a (if not the) top priority of all supporters of limited government. The first step is to pass legislation providing a full audit of the Federal Reserve so the American people can at last know the truth about how the Federal Reserve has designed its policies to enrich the statists and their cronies.