One event takes place every Thursday afternoon around 4:30PM Eastern Time that few people ever notice. Every Thursday afternoon, the Federal Reserve quietly releases its balance sheet.
Like any business, the balance sheet is a look under the hood of the business. The balance sheet reveals all. It gives a statement of a business’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity at a specific point in time. It offers a snapshot of what the business owns and what it owes as well as the amount invested by its owners.
As of this week, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet stands at $7.1 trillion – the highest in the history of the United States. The Fed makes it possible for money to be backed up by the government in ways that doesn’t allow for banks and other financial institutions to over-regulate the interest rates to the point that people like you and me can’t afford to finance homes, automobiles or other major purchases.
This practice is not without danger. For the first time in American history, The Federal Reserve is a regulator, a supervisor, and now a direct participant in the economy. Quantitative easing as the tool of first choice for the Fed in a time of crisis has led to a renewed focus on its balance sheet.. A $7 trillion-dollar balance sheet makes the Fed the largest financial institution in the nation – more than the four largest banks combined. What this tells us is the government itself is now so deeply involved in the economy that should even a modest downturn take place, the economy could crash.
It might be time to look again at the monetary policy of the United States. For not since the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 has there been a better time to consider the structural design of the Federal Reserve System. Let’s hope the new Congress does just that.
This week the nation has passed through a presidential election, and it seems the Electoral College is once again coming under scrutiny. Politicians like Pete Buttigieg are suggesting the Electoral College be abolished. Initially, it sounds like a good idea. One person – one vote. The majority should win – correct?
It is a system that has served us well for almost 250 years. It is what distinguishes our President from the President of France. Without the Electoral College, the American President and the American government would become the exact opposite of what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington desired – a republic of states where every voice could be heard within a system that forced candidates for President to listen to everyone across the nation, not just those who might easily benefit their candidacy.