What non-governmental institution turns over its profits to the US Treasury? What non-governmental institution has to have its head approved by Congress? What non-governmental institution has its charter written by Congress?
The Fed should learn to keep interest rates low. If you look at a graph of interest rates, you'll see that interest rate hikes preceded 8 of the last 9 recessions. Only four out of 12 rate hikes didn't cause recessions.
Why should the Fed raise interest rates now? It just raises costs to borrowers and increases bank profits. Interest rate hikes caused the housing crisis in 2007, because the ARMs adjusted to the increased prime rates instigated by the Fed.
Why is there this mass hysteria that rates have to increase, when clearly rate increases precipitated the most recent crash?
"The Federal Reserve also ignored Bagehot's recommendation of what to do during a bank run: make money readily available but on good collateral at dear prices. Instead, the Federal Reserve paid good money for garbage from the banks."
I would argue that the collateral is good. It was market groupthink that resulted in the crash, gossip in chatrooms hysterically screaming that every mortgage was in default. In fact the vast majority of mortgages didn't default. A few did, which was expected, but irrational paranoiac fear took over, as the market loves to let it.
Bagehot was too conservative with his "at a high rate of interest" dictum. Also, the Fed should bail out individuals, not banks. Even Kenneth Rogoff agrees:
Without question the best and most effective approach to the problem would have been to bail
out the subprime homeowners directly, forcing banks to take losses but keeping them manageable.
For an investment of perhaps a few hundred billion dollars, the US Treasury could have saved
itself from a financial crisis whose cumulative cost, counting lost output, already runs into many,
many trillions of dollars. Instead of âoesaving Wall Street,â a subprime bailout would have been
targeted, almost by definition, at lower-income households. But unfortunately, this approach too
would have been politically impossible prior to the crisis.
It is up to us to change the political possibilities by educating ourselves and voting in representatives that will tell the Fed to help individuals instead of corporations.