In our recent study Perceptions and Understanding of Money – 2020, we surveyed Americans to measure how well they understand money mechanisms, including concepts such as monetary policy. We hope that the “Everything You Need to Know” series will help improve understanding of money topics and issues that may not be more relevant today.
What Is Monetary Policy?
Monetary policy refers to actions that governing bodies are taking (or not taking) to handle money supply, such as The Balance he explains. The importance of the money supply cannot be overstated, as its relative size plays a role in whether inflation or deflation could hold onto an economy.
Commonly accepted thinking indicates that those responsible for monetary policy—In the United States, the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee – that treats the money supply with specific goals in mind. It expands supply to stimulate economic activity, and reduces supply when the economy shows signs of overheating, which could lead to undesirable inflation levels.
Who Creates Monetary Policy?
The Federal Reserve is gaining great power over the American financial system, as it is responsible for crafting monetary policy—In this power, it is directly controls the nation’s money supply.
The Federal Reserve’s current chairman, Jerome Powell, is the public face of the Fed, but two specific leadership groups – the Federal Open Market Committee and the Fed’s Board of Governors – are shifting the power. These groups collectively decide how to handle the discount rate (the interest rate for banks borrowing from the Fed), bank reserve requirements, and other tools such as selling and buying bonds.
While you may read that the Federal Reserve is enacting Congress goals, the mandates are ambiguous: growing the economy, preventing massive unemployment, and the like. Not the Fed’s own definition, it is “ia dependent government agency but also one that is ultimately accountable to the public and Congress ”.
That is, only the Fed and the Fed decide how to set monetary policy in America.
In other nations, monetary policy may be set by some organization similar to the Federal Reserve, such as a nation’s central bank. In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) manages monetary policy for member nations, as the widespread adoption of the Euro allows it to do.
And when those subject to the negative effects of the Fed’s or European Central Bank’s monetary policy are unhappy about policy decisions, what can they do?
Nothing at all, except investing in alternatives to the dollar or the Euro.
Did someone say Bitcoin?
How the Fed Uses Monetary Policy to Affect the Economy
When it wants to expand the money supply, a governing body can only print more money (after making a compelling case for the “necessity” of such printing to the peanut gallery, of course). While excessive printing of money is generally regarded as an unfounded practice that directly causes inflation, this has not prevented the Fed or others responsible for monetary policy from doing so.
In addition to printing money (usually under the auspices of an economic stimulus or saving an “essential” institution from bankruptcy), those overseeing the money supply can take other measures to affect the money supply. They can buy bonds on the open market in exchange for cash, reduce the amount of money that banks have to hold in their reserves to incentivize lending, and reduce interest rates so that banks borrow money from Fed and re-lends that money to Average. Joe.
The goal of each of these approaches is clear: to flood money into the market to grease the wheels of economic activity.
Conversely, the Fed (or other body responsible for monetary policy) can sell bonds, increase reserves requirements, and increase interest rates to contract the money supply. It may do so when it senses that excessive inflation has taken hold or is imminent.
Some say this whipping of the Fed’s intervention only increases boom peaks and valleys and busts, and generally leads to one consistent outcome: lowering the value of the dollar.
Cryptocurrencies As a Hedge Against Poor Monetary Policy
A. Gallup’s opinion poll shows widespread distrust of the Federal Reserve by Americans. Historical accounting would suggest that distrust is fair, since particular recessions and recessions can be linked at some level to the Fed’s monetary policies.
And when the ill effects of financial busts occur, you might see the Fed asking Congress for approval to fire the money printers for this bank or that foreign government, further degrading the dollar’s purchasing power the process.
Add that the Federal Reserve is about lending money to other (economically failing) nations, and that Americans have no say in the matter, and it is fair to see why you might consider an alternative to the dollar as a repository of your hard earned income.
Unlike the supply of dollars, Euros, and other currencies that are not tied to a scarce resource, cryptocurrencies are constrained by nature. Unlike fiat banknotes, they cannot be created at will. There is no governing body with a unilateral power to treat Bitcoin supply like the Fed does with the dollar, or to borrow masses of cryptocurrency in a way that will inevitably depreciate each individual coin.
Supporters see the independence of cryptos from direct and legal manipulation—As as well as its inherent scarcity—Aan alternative to whatever a nation’s central bank does is welcome. Unsurprisingly, cryptocurrencies have become a popular hedge in the age of endless money supply growth, rising debt, and general uncertainty about the global financial house of cards.
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