24 August 2009

follow the money (the FED 1913-1945)

... all calculations use yearly CPI figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ... http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm ...

it just so happens that since the US Federal Reserve issued it's first Federal Reserve Notes with Benjamin Franklin's picture on them ($100) there have been exactly six 16-year blocks coinciding exactly with four presidential terms each.

FED monetary policy, through World War 1 and it's experiment with a command-controlled US economy and the boom ('Roaring 20's) that followed via de-regulation, immigration, and the maturation of the automobile industry, resulted in requiring 72% more US currency in 1929 to purchase the same amount of consumer staple goods than would have been needed in 1913.

but 'easy' money creates bubbles. bubbles eventually burst. the bigger the bubble, the worse and longer lasting are it's consequences. (economic, cultural, and geo-political) in the fall of 1929 the bubble burst.

FED monetary policy for the next 16 years, through the depths of the 'Great Depression', massive increases in the size and regulatory oversight capacity of the US Federal Government, and the all-out effort of the second World War, resulted in requiring only 5% more US currency to purchase in 1946 the same amount of goods in 1929 (before the 'crash') ... arguably representative of a 'return to the mean' as it took 81% more money in 1945 to purchase what it would have in 1913 (just a 2% increase from the level of 1927)
up next, the baby-boom, the cold war, the atomic age, television, and the beginning of the race into space... ah "the good times" ...