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Review: The Case Against the Fed by Murray Rothbard

This review was orginally written by me on January 2nd, 2009 for another website.  I’ve decided to repost it since the next review will deal heavily with the Federal Reserve and Banking as I plan to finish and review Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (Hardcover) shortly.

This is another enlightening read considering the times we are in. Prior to reading The Case Against the Fed, I was convinced that the economic crisis we are currently in was caused by the actions of the Fed and its “solution”, TARP, was going to benefit only the bankers. After reading this book, my thoughts are cemented.

Rothbard belongs the Austrian School of Economics, proponents of the free market who despise central banking. Rothbard makes a compelling case and in a very readable, laymen way. Rothbard explains the ideas behind central banking and how they create inflation, though purporting to control inflation. Beyond explaining the Federal Reserve, Rothbard shows how it was implemented in the US and the drivers behind it. It’s incredible to believe how much power JP Morgan and Rockefeller had in the early 1900’s.

Rothbard describes an almost ominous and conspiratorial implementation of the Federal Reserve. Even if I believed this to be true, which I may, what I find lacking was an analysis or description of how they justified the needs or benefits of a central banking system. Furthermore, I would like Rothbard to counter more ideas from proponents of central banking. Not necessarily from bankers but from economists.

I look forward to reading more of Rothbard’s work. I can’t say yet I’m a follower of his ideas but I find many compelling, enough to want me to read more.