Course

Monetary Policy

Instructor: Alex Tabarrok, George Mason University

This is " Monetary Policy and the Fed " from our Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics course. Spider-Man fans likely recall Uncle Ben advising his nephew, Peter

This is "Monetary Policy and the Fed" from our Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics course.

Spider-Man fans likely recall Uncle Ben advising his nephew, Peter Parker, that “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

As it turns out, that sage wisdom is also pretty applicable to the U.S. Federal Reserve System (aka the Fed). The Fed Chairperson, currently Janet Yellen, may not shoot webs out of her wrists, but she and the organization she represents have some super powers over our money supply.

The Fed also has quite a few limitations – monetary policy can only do so much. We’ve previously covered the quantity theory of money and long- and short-run economic growth. If you think back to those videos, you’ll remember that an increase in the money supply (which, in the U.S., is controlled by the Fed) only affects growth in the short-run. Even then, it’s often not smooth sailing.

In this video, we’ll give you an introduction to the function of the Fed as well as some of the problems it faces, and raise the question, “What is money?”

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