The digital rag Business Insider (run by Henry Blodget, the unabashed Wall Street Internet booster) goes for more SEO-friendly conspiracy bashing:
The economy has sparked a wide variety of truly bizarre conspiracy theories. Despite the fact that they have no basis in truth, people continue to believe them with almost religious zeal.
The internet has given them a wider forum and audience, and has proved to be fertile ground for these ideas to spread.
These are the myths, conspiracy theories, and flat out falsehoods that just won’t die.
The Federal Reserve is a private corporation run for the profit of its shareholder banks.
Origin: This one’s been kicking around almost since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. It’s the subject of a three hour documentary called “The Money Masters”.
The reality: Nationally chartered banks do hold stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks, and receive a small portion (6 percent of their stock) of the profits of their regional banks, which is presumably the origin of this theory.
- That stock confers no control over the Regional bank’s activities.
- Last year $1.6 billion in profit went to member banks. The remaining $46 billion was remanded to the Treasury department.
Further, monetary policy is conducted by two entirely different branches of the Federal Reserve System. The Board Of Governors oversees the Regional banks and monetary policy, and is made up of 7 members nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They conduct monetary policy in the interest of the public by their Congressional mandate.
The closest influence the private shareholders have on the conduct of monetary policy is through their nomination of 6 of the 9 members of regional bank boards. Those boards nominate bank presidents, who must be confirmed by the Board of Governors. 5 regional presidents serve on the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, which oversees the principal tool of monetary policy, in service of the Federal Reserve’s Congressional mandate, not regional shareholders…
[continues at Business Insider]