The Illusion of Power

by Matthew Kerkhoff
Financial Sense

All hail the mighty Federal Reserve, the setter of interest rates and gatekeeper of the economy.

I don’t think anyone would go so far as to explicitly say that, but it seems to be the underlying tone I hear from many investors, as well as the subject of many op-ed pieces written by economists and investment advisors.

In this low interest rate world, everyone wants to blame the central bank. Asset prices in a bubble? Blame the Fed. No return for savers? Blame the Fed. Low economic growth? Blame the Fed.

Whatever the problem may be, it seems the Fed is a convenient and well-accepted scapegoat. But is that claim warranted? Are they truly the masters of our financial universe? Or are they more like the Wizard of Oz?

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