Writing at the Library of Law and Liberty, George Mason University law professor Michael Greve has an interesting piece examining the constitutional foundations—or possible lack thereof—supporting the Federal Reserve:
Our fate hangs on the Fed; and yet, it is an independent institution, immunized from direct political pressures. In a democracy, operating under a Constitution that makes no explicit provision for a central bank and in many ways resists the creation of fourth or fifth branches of government, an independent Fed is an oddity. For what it’s worth, the Fed’s founders acknowledged the point: initially, the Secretary of the Treasury served as the institution’s ex officio chairman. That arrangement was changed in the 1930s, after the Supreme Court had cleared the way for “independent” agencies....
For present purposes, though, the point is this: there is no constitutional warrant for an independent Fed that acts as the economy’s master puppeteer; issues puts on the stock market; expropriates fixed-income recipients so that Congress can continue to borrow on the cheap; or targets the unemployment rate.
Read the whole thing here.