The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 3–51 | Cite as

The origins of the federal reserve

  • Murray N. Rothbard


The financial elites of this country, notably the Morgan, Rockefeller, and Kuhn, Loeb interests, were responsible for putting through the Federal Reserve System, as a governmentally created and sanctioned cartel device to enable the nation’s banks to inflate the money supply in a coordinated fashion, without suffering quick retribution from depositors or noteholders demanding cash. Recent researchers, however, have also highlighted the vital supporting role of the growing number of technocratic experts and academics, who were happy to lend the patina of their allegedly scientific expertise to the elite’s drive for a central bank. To achieve a regime of big government and government control, power elites cannot achieve their goal of privilege through statism without the vital legitimizing support of the supposedly disinterested experts and the professoriat. To achieve the Leviathan State, interests seeking special privilege, and intellectuals offering scholarship and ideology, must work hand in hand.


Central Bank Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System National Bank Currency Reform 
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© Springer 1999

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  • Murray N. Rothbard

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