Bitcoins and gold standard dollars -- was Re: Anyone want to make a housecall?

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Sat Jun 1 17:14:04 MDT 2013

On Jun 1, 2013, at 4:01 PM, Charles Curley <charlescurley at> wrote:

> On Sat, 1 Jun 2013 15:47:13 -0600
> Joshua Marsh <joshua at> wrote:
>> You seem to be suggesting that the US dollar hasn't been manipulated
>> by people with similar things. The Fed isn't as bright and wonderful
>> as most people seem to think. At the end of the day, they are still
>> beholden to their anonymous shareholders.

You cannot manipulate the value of the dollar with a couple million bucks and a Twitter account.  You can manipulate a penny stock that way, but that does not change how many dollars it takes to buy typical goods and services, which is how inflation and thus the value of the dollar are measured.

Yes, the Fed is a corporation. But its continued existence relies on Congress, which can amend the Federal Reserve Act at any time. And you say "beholden to its anonymous shareholders" like that isn't how all corporations work. Except the Fed doesn't quite work that way.  The Federal Reserve Act requires all nationally chartered commercial banks and S&Ls to own stock in their regional Fed bank in proportion to their size, thus becoming "member banks". And shares can't be sold to the public or other non-bank entities since all branches met their funding requirements when it was created.  So, if you want to know who the shareholders of your regional Fed are, look at the largest banks in the region.

So, how do shareholders influence a corporation? The mechanism is purely through election of the board of directors, typically by votes in proportion to stock ownership. The Fed banks, however, elect their boards on the basis of one vote per shareholder, not proportional to share ownership. So, in order to control who gets elected to a regional Fed board, you must control the majority of the banks and S&Ls in the region. But even controlling the regional board won't let you  control the regional Fed's actions, as they are coordinated at a higher level via the Board of Governors and Federal Open Market Committee. The Board is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and it sets the basic parameters that the Fed banks must follow, e.g interest rates, reserve ratios, and the amount of currency that may be issued. The FOMC consists of the the members of the Board, the president of the New York Fed, and the presidents of 4 other regional Fed banks. It formulates open market policy, which determines how much in Government bonds the Fed will buy and sell, which is the vast majority of how the Fed influences the economy. None of the actions that directly influence the economy can be taken without approval of the Board or FOMC.

So, how is the Fed some shadowy conspiracy? It has clear legal mandates and direction for its goals. Its influences on the economy are controlled by known people, some of whom are elected by banks and others appointed by the federal government.

> The Fed was created by legislation 100 years ago. In the period from
> its creation until 1913, the dollar pretty much retained its purchasing
> power. In the century since, it has lost 99% of its value.

The purchasing power of a single dollar is irrelevant.  What matters is the productivity of the economy and the standard of living of the people of the nation.  What is your standard of living vs. your ancestors 100 years ago?

Wages rise over time and safe investments are available that do retain value over time as well as provide economic value, which hoarding cash does not. You cannot be this economically naive, so please don't try to mislead with facts that don't even begin to paint the whole picture.


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