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'Independence' and the founding of the Federal Reserve

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  • James Forder

Abstract

The Federal Reserve is 'independent', but contrary to opinions often expressed, it was not intended by its creators to be free from political control, although others involved in the debate over its establishment hoped that it would be. 'Independence' was independence from banking interests, not government. A gradual development of independence preceded a much greater acquisition of power during the Reagan Presidency. The lessons of history include the fact that with few changes in the Federal Reserve Act, its position in the American government has been dramatically transformed. Consequently, contrary to common practice in the economics literature, the 'independence' (from government) of a central bank evidently cannot be measured by tabulating characteristics of its statutes. Copyright (c) Scottish Economic Society 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • James Forder, 2003. "'Independence' and the founding of the Federal Reserve," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(3), pages 297-310, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:50:y:2003:i:3:p:297-310
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomas Otahal & Vaclav Rybacek, 2011. "Can Tight and Centralized Financial Regulation Prevent Financial Crises? Czech Government Bond Seignorage in the Historical Perspective," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2011-14, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    2. Peter Howells, 2009. "Independent Central Banks: Some theoretical and empirical problems?," Working Papers 0908, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    3. Peter Howells & Iris Mariscal, 2006. "Monetary Policy Regimes. A Fragile Consensus," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 62-83.
    4. Singleton,John, 2010. "Central Banking in the Twentieth Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899093, May.

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