"I Print Therefore I Am" - The Fed Justifies Its Existence, Fails

Tyler Durden's picture

In an brief two paragraph blurb on its brand spanking new blog Liberty Street Economic, a post by "Blog Author" (one wonders if the New York Fed is as cheap in providing its bloggers with a blogging facilities as it is when "giving" the POMO interns Bloomberg terminals), the FRBNY provides a trite if enjoyable summary of the thinking that prompted the creation of the Fed, courtesy of one F.A. Vanderlip, president of Citibank, which apparently was as insolvent back in 1907 as it is now. The premise: the Fed is the cause of monetary stability and the prevention of "disorderly retreats or advances." That's actually supremely ironic because as John Lohman points out the main trade off, namely the 2,313% increase in CPI, ended up shafting the market to an even bigger crash in 2008 than the panic of 1907. But at least in the interim 101 years the Fed's overlords from Wall Street, managed to steal over 98% of the wealth of Americans in the form of shadow currency devaluation better known as inflation. So who cares about facts when that 5th private Polynesian island for Jamie Dimon has been fully paid for and all three underground cellars are stocked with gold...

From the Fed's blog:

An article written in March 1907 (on the cusp of a financial panic, and before the creation of the Federal Reserve) poses the question, “Is there money enough.” The author, F. A. Vanderlip, President of National City Bank (later Citibank), observes that a banking system without a central bank is prone to disorderly “retreats or advances,” with every banker acting for himself and none for the greater good:

“Many Europeans tell us that we are barbarously wasteful of money under our current banking system. They say that with our system of twenty thousand unregulated organizations, we are like a nation going to war with an army that has no centralized authority, with an army where each man is fighting as he independently thinks best; with no one to give general orders for retreat or advance….With us in any time of stress, each bank looks only to its own position, and reaches for reserves for its own vault, at no matter what cost to the whole system.”

In 1910, Vanderlip would take his views and memories of the “bankers’ panic” of 1907 to Jekyll Island, Georgia, to participate in the meeting that would lead to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.

So far so good. Yet here is the counterpoint, courtesy of John Lohman:

Over the 100 years since Vanderlip’s prescient vision, the Federal Reserve has been able to fine-tune and perfect its tools for managing the domestic economy.  The 2,313% rise in the CPI (from 9.23 to 222.7) is a very small price to pay for the security of knowing we will no longer have financial crises, and the associated economic downturns, like those of 1907.

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Debtless's picture

Too bad the new Fed blog doesn't allow comments from readers. THAT would be entertaining.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Ha! +1

Tyler himself would want to register for that one.

Great Unwashed's picture

But they do! From the rules for submitting comments:

Please be on-topic and patient: Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been reviewed to ensure that they are substantive and clearly related to the topic of the post. The moderator will not post comments that are

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as well as comments that constitute a personal attack.  We reserve the right not to post comment from zerohedge readers; no notice will be given regarding whether a submission will or will not be posted.

NOTW777's picture

so only steve liesman and erin burnett can comment?

NotApplicable's picture

Don't they fall into the obscene and vulgar category?

redpill's picture

Simon Black tears apart Christina Romer's ri-goddamn-diculous defense of QE:


John Law Lives's picture

That Romer interview made me want to punch my screen.  What a load of crap.

chumbawamba's picture

Fuck that, I'd punch Romer herself.  Some women just require a beating.

I am Chumbawamba.

NotApplicable's picture

I don't think Romer's babbling qualifies as double-think. In her case you'd have to divide, and end up with half-think.

SheepDog-One's picture

Romer looks like she eats shishkebab pot roasts by the dozen.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Ben Bernbankincide rank amateur PR efforts are just pathetic.


covert's picture

I spied on that meeting, it was my first assignment. those were the best days.



Miles Kendig's picture

Ax nuclear test ban treaty and fire up Jamie's islands, along with some of those private old world "chateaus".  Problem solved.

chumbawamba's picture

Pardon me for stepping on your toes, Miles, but I had a thought:

Would it be possible to actually compute the amount of money/capital that the banksters have siphoned off of the economy since the Fed was instantiated?  That would really be a number to splash in front of people.

"Say, did you know the Federal Reserve and its banker owners/co-conspirators have literally embezzled $n trillion from the American people and government since 1913?"

Then they go, "Huh", and return to their internet browsing.

I am Chumbawamba.

NotApplicable's picture

Interesting idea, but since the answer is denominated in dollars, it just gets blown out beyond comprehension.

A better method might be to measure it in percentage of all wealth, especially if data is available to contrast continuous increase of the bankster's share since 1913.

One way that I like to point this out to people, is to tell them to look around while thinking to yourself that with the exception of older cars/houses, everything you see is owned by a bank, with the title holders only owning a small percentage in equity (if any at all) that is tied up in support of the note.

Before interest rates dropped to 0% for autos and 4.25% for a 30 yr. fixed, Americans actually had more equity. Today, they own far less of these durable goods, having  tapped its equity for toys and other unneeded consumption. Or worse, they traded themselves into a home they will eventually default on.

Clampit's picture

Would you include donations, like that of Mr. Buffet? And then how about businesses like GM that wouldn't exist without inane top down funding? Patents and other forms of government privilege favor those with access to capital ... I don't see where this calculation would stop and then you risk the straw argument that we owe everything to the holy bankers. 

Internet Tough Guy's picture

Oil breaking out here.

alien-IQ's picture

I'm pretty sure my head is about to explode.

lincolnsteffens's picture

Not to worry. With the kind consideration of Japan's fragrance decending upon you

will grow another one.

disabledvet's picture

i really hate to say this but "we really need to get off this subject" outside of Banzai of course.  Not that I don't agree--but we've been speculating for a while on this whipping boy--and losing.  The way I look at it now which I think is inherent in the ZH ethos btw and which is in my view "data-fiable" is simply:  are we going right back into 2008 again and if not why not?  In short "has a god damn fucking thing changed?"  I say this relative to the bailouts "having changed behavior." i fail to see how anyone other than "laughing boy" (and yes, he is still CEO) can say "yes, Wall Street is completely reformed!"  in short "doesn't the bailout mean business as usual is okay?"  and "if that business is the business of blowing up the economy and ultimately itself" who are we to argue "they won't succeed again?"  Now..."on to the non-surprise of the budget stand-off!"

flattrader's picture

>>>i really hate to say this but "we really need to get off this subject"<<<

I hear ya.

But, you have to realize that the world of ZH commentors is just a very big ideological echo chamber for the most part.

It's an OK place to hang out while you watch the tic and trade.

  • Occasionally you learn something new.  There are some very smart people here.
  • Tyler(s) post something original and fascinating on occasion.
  • The Bloomie gives them the scoop on news.

Those reasons above make it worth the bother.

camoes's picture

ZH is so much better than BBG terminal...we get all the scoops in Chinese Fraud trades and silver price updates...there's just too much information in BBG that I get a headache from watching that monitor...Tyler should launch a ZH terminal with option of silver or gold plating and adornments...just add IB and porn, we're ready to go 21st century trading!

Dick Darlington's picture

Nuff said. So can we please end the central banking cartel now?

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

good post. shining a light on these fellows is excellent disinfectant, as they say.

nah's picture

dude, it was just plain harder to panic way back in them days

Victor Berry's picture

Forget the Polynesian islands, our Wall Street overlords are buying ranch properties in the Colorado Rockies.  Evidently, their Blackwater private security details are advising them that it's easier to protect and defend high ground when the vulgar masses come marching to exact vengence. 

Natasha Fatale's picture

It's true, it's all about the mountains. Case in point is Switzerland; without the Alps, Zurich and Geneva wouldn't be the $$$ havens they are today. 

sbenard's picture

Crude just hit $112.50, up more than $2 just today!

Obama and his green tyranny must be thrilled! So he can shut down the government now and go on another holiday this weekend with joy and rejoicing, knowing that he and his environmental elitists and arrogant academics (educated imbeciles all) are destroying the US economy. Oh, such rapture! What brutality bliss! What totalitarian joy he must be feeling right now!

His progressive policies are bringing energy agony to America! It's Democrat despotism! Soon, we'll only be afford to live in caves again. Next, we'll revert to grunting to communicate!

Cheyenne's picture

Frank Vanderlip... Frank Vanderlip... ah, here it is:

"This leads to another reason behind my dislike of conspiracy theories: I am connected to one of the more popular ones right now. My great-grandfather was Franc Vanderlip, one of the men that helped conceptually design the Federal Reserve. "


mfoste1's picture

when does scum cleansing begin?

digalert's picture

CNBS newsflash:

SEC won't be able to regulate fair markets if there is a government shutdown!

Sabibaby's picture

That's too bad, they probably won't beable to watch porn from the office either.


at least the Squid is hiring!

NOTW777's picture

maybe they intended - won't be able to facilitate the ponzi if gov shut down

SheepDog-One's picture

The invisible hand is wearing an iron glove.

JenkinsLane's picture

Don't be fooled by the ink that I got, I'm still Benny from the block,

Used to print a little, now I print alot, I'm still, I'm still Benny from the block

JW n FL's picture

Silver is $40.71 per oz... They Print and Silver will see $100 an Oz... easily, quote me.. bubble the printing machine.. silver has not gone up, the dollar has went down.

fuu's picture

Print more, I love it at this point. The faster they print the faster the end approaches. Bail it all out. Every last stinking dollar of debt, print it away in one fell swoop please.

PrDtR's picture

Don't need any Gold or Silver.. when Jesus returns just my repentant heart will do.. no fear here!  All you are witnessing MUST come to pass..



akak's picture

Cheesus will return when Elvis accompanies him on the back of a unicorn.

You believers in myths and fairy tales are a hoot.

PS:  Next time you're talking to the Lord in your megachurch (don't pass up the collection plate, or he won't listen to you!), please tell him that he fucked up big time --- back to the drawing board, Yahweh you bumbler!

X. Kurt OSis's picture

That's fucking awesome.

Porkbellytrader's picture

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Highrev's picture

What's the surprise, surprise this weekend going to be?

web bot's picture

<ahhem, ahhem...>

Boys and girls... don't be fooled by what is going on.

7.1 earthquake hits Japan. Japan Debt/GDP 200% and Nikkie is up 2.52%

UK with over 4% inflation per month. GBP index is up

Silver above 3%...; Euro up, Dow down... you get the picture.

There are huge pools of capital at work right now goosing the market. You know the faces on CNBC... you know their names... they are playing this like a Stradivarian.

A major correction is coming.

lincolnsteffens's picture

"A major correction is coming"

Stradivarius not Stradivarian!  Now get to your fall out shelter before this major correction

hits you too!

lsbumblebee's picture



Plese I need yur help with my hi schol paper. What did Presidint Wilson meen when he sayd this?

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world, no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."