Turn on the television, the radio. Scour the Internet. Google the term “financial crisis” and you are bound to hear frantic stories about the eminent Wall Street collapse. “We let the free market run a muck”, the stories will say, “and we need the government to find a way to correct the problem.”
Both US presidential candidates, in fact, also seem to agree, as was evident in the First Presidential Debate. Both believe that more government intervention is needed to keep this untamed beast in check.
But alas, like a voice in the wilderness, you may stumble upon a few that disagree. These lone free thinkers will tell you that the collapse is not a market failure, so much as a failure of government intervention into the marketplace.
To understand this idea it is first imperative to explore the reasons behind the crisis. Most agree that low interest rates have led to excessive borrowing, but few will venture to explore the cause of these artificially low rates. Many people fail to realize that the low interest rates were purposely put into place by the Federal Reserve.
These rates, which were inevitably lower than market value — Why else would they need to be set? — led to excessive borrowing by individuals who would have never taken out loans or mortgages in the first place. This action led to the financial bubble that has recently, and dramatically, burst.
Now we are feeling the after effects.
But why did the bubble burst? Low interest rates are good for the people, right? Well, lets look at it this way. What if the rates were as low as .5%? This would lead to a huge spike in the number of people taking out loans for entrepreneurial endeavors. It is inevitable, however, that many of these endeavors will fail, leading to individuals defaulting on their loans and banks not getting paid. If rates were higher many of these people would have never taken the risk in the first place.
No, the financial crisis is not a failure of the free market, it is a failure of fascism. Allowing one unchecked overarching organization known as the Federal Reserve to control the money supply and thus the interest rates has caused the failure.
And how do they propose to fix it? By having that same organization create even more money to bail out these banks.
Like a fly repeatedly striking a glass window, more of the same will not solve our problems. It is time to end the Fed.