More than a century ago, America’s ultra-wealthy financiers and politicians met on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia to conjure up one of the most powerful and obscure institutions in the global economy: the Federal Reserve. On this week’s episode of the Drill Down Podcast, Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers are joined by Christopher Leonard, author the new and widely praised book Lords of Easy Money, to discuss the book and how the Fed’s policies in recent years have profoundly changed the American economy, and not for the better.
In his book, Leonard examines how the Federal Reserve’s actions, at least since the 2008 financial crisis, have fueled the rise of wealth inequality in the United States. This has had the side effect of seeing more and more Congressional millionaires, to the point that they comprise the majority of Congress.
One problem Leonard cites as a driving force behind this trend in Fed policy is its increasingly insular thought process that has led to chronically low interest rates and extremely easy money, which benefits those with the most wealth to begin with.
Now with inflation reaching levels not seen in decades, that insular thinking leaves the Fed exposed and increasingly unable, or unwilling, to change course while millions of Americans are on edge about the dollar and its worth.