Today is the twenty-first anniversary of Murray Rothbard's death. I had the privilege of knowing Dr. Rothbard, and he was not only one of the smartest people I ever meet, but he was a genuinely nice person who was fun to be around. Unlike so many "intellectuals" and people in politics, Dr. Rothbard never felt the need to prove he was the smartest person in the room or make sure those around him understood how important he was. These are characteristics he shared with his close friend Campaign for Liberty Chairman Dr. Ron Paul.
Most of what I know about monetary policy and the Federal Reserve I learned from reading, listening to, and talking with Dr. Rothbard (what I didn't learn from Rothbard's great teacher Ludwig Von Mises and Dr. Paul).
Dr. Rothbard wrote about the need for transparency in monetary policy in his classic The Case Against the Fed, which the Ludwig Von Mises Institue has published as "The Myth of Fed Independence":
By far the most secret and least accountable operation of the federal government is not, as one might expect, the CIA, DIA, or some other super-secret intelligence agency. The CIA and other intelligence operations are under control of the Congress. They are accountable: a Congressional committee supervises these operations, controls their budgets, and is informed of their covert activities. It is true that the committee hearings and activities are closed to the public; but at least the people’s representatives in Congress insure some accountability for these secret agencies.
It is little known, however, that there is a federal agency that tops the others in secrecy by a country mile. The Federal Reserve System is accountable to no one; it has no budget; it is subject to no audit; and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise, its operations. The Federal Reserve, virtually in total control of the nation's vital monetary system, is accountable to nobody—and this strange situation, if acknowledged at all, is invariably trumpeted as a virtue.
Read the whole piece here,
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Tags: Audit the Fed, Murray Rothbard