Richard H. Timberlake

Richard H. Timberlake is a former professor of economics at the University of Georgia. He is an expert on the Federal Reserve, monetary policy, and the history of central banking. He is the author of Monetary Policy in the United States: An Intellectual and Institutional History (University of Chicago Press, 1993).

Issuing an Existential Challenge to the Federal Reserve

Peter Conti-Brown has developed a cogent analysis of the constitutionality of the present-day Federal Reserve System’s ongoing operations.[1] His discussion of constitutional principles applied to the Fed’s contemporary monetary policy is both enlightening and logical. I learned from it, and I agree with his conclusions. I wish to pursue in this comment the second constitutional issue that Conti-Brown emphasizes but does not treat: the question of the Fed’s original constitutionality—where it came from and the events and warped judgments that resulted in an omnipotent central bank. Just on the face of it, one cannot imagine that any of the Framers could…

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Why is the Federal Reserve Viewed as the Fourth Branch?

Peter Conti-Brown’s essay provides an excellent overview of the constitutional objections to the Federal Reserve and to the structure of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). I want to approach the questions that he addresses from a slightly different angle, by asking why politicians and courts treat the Federal Reserve as if it were constitutionally…

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