The Fed: Is the Federal Reserve Still Necessary in the 21st Century?


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Bernanke is rumored to be leaving his post at the end of this term – who’s next for The Fed?. Photo courtesy of the United States Federal Reserve.

Bank Regulation With No Fed?

As for bank regulation, that role could be absorbed by the other agencies that currently serve that function, but the Fed handles a fair amount of the work load and helps to spread the supervisory workload more evenly across agency lines.

Abolishing The Fed: Detractors believe the Federal Reserve has long outlived its usefulness. They argue its relentless infusion of printed money into the system over time has subverted its original purpose, and has created an unsustainable behemoth that  has actually caused standards of living to fall, not rise, by initiating “easy money” debt, including that of the individual, business as well as governmental varieties.

Detractors of the Fed also believe the Fed is largely responsible for the steady decline of the U.S. dollar, which has plummeted in value over the past 100 years. They believe the abolition of the Fed would force governments to finally live within their means, stopping the influences of too much money in circulation from inflating the system beyond its natural constraints.

Federal Reserve Of The Future

Of course, it is highly unlikely the Federal Reserve System will be abolished or even overhauled in the near-term future. It will, however, be studied intently by future generations with respects to its policies during the sudden financial crisis of 2008 as well as the post-crisis aftermath. Rumors abound that Chairman Ben Bernanke is considering stepping down at the end of his term, with the White House already drawing up a list of potential successors.

Whomever his replacement may be, he or she will instantly become one of the most powerful people on Earth. Without political considerations (theoretically) to worry about, some might argue that the Chairman of The Fed is the most powerful person on the planet.


The Federal Reserve Board. The Twelve Federal Reserve Districts, and What is the Purpose of the Federal Reserve System? and The Federal Reserve Act(2013). Accessed July 1, 2013.

Indivigilio, D. Why We Need the Fed(2011). The Atlantic. Accessed July 1, 2013.

Satterthwaite, S. What is the Federal Reserve and what does it do? (2013). This Nation. Accessed July 1, 2013.

Investopedia. When the Federal Reserve Intervenes (And Why), and Federal Reserve System – FRS(2013). Accessed July 1, 2013.

AFP. White House studying Ben Bernanke successors: Reports(2013). The Economic Times. Accessed July 1, 2013.

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