By Rep. Patrick McHenry
Hickory Daily Record
May 18, 2009
The Federal Reserve System was created in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson and Congress. The Fed, as it is known, is a semi-public agency that serves as the central hub of our banking system.
The Fed's original mission was to regulate monetary policy in the United States, meaning that it would restrict and loosen the supply of money in circulation. Its objective was to achieve stable prices and maximum employment.
The Fed does this by setting interest rates. These rates impact the interest that Americans pay on our mortgages and car loans, for example.
Today, the scope of the Fed's responsibilities is much larger. It is the agency most responsible for overseeing our financial markets. The Fed may soon take on the role of the "systemic risk" regulator for America's financial system.
However, our laws have not kept pace with the Fed's expanded use of power. Therefore, very little information about its activities is disclosed to Congress and the American people. ...
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