Imagining the Stupendous Growth and Plentiful Credit in a World Without the Fed

An article headline in Saturday’s Wall Street Journalread “Rate Talk Heats Up Within The Fed.” As Journalreporters Jon Hilsenrath and Michael Derby explained, “A debate is intensifying among the Federal Reserve’s regional bank presidents about whether to push interest rates up from near zero sooner than planned…”

Notable here is that in the late 20th century an informal and surely unplanned debate between central planning and free markets was staged, and the contest wasn’t even close. Ignoring for the purposes of this piece the often bloody governance that revealed itself inside countries that practiced central planning, the unrelenting drudgery that defined economies designed by bureaucrats and politicians was surely one of the most cruelly animating features of the century before this one. Centrally planned countries imploded by century’s end, while economically free countries soared.

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