How’s the Fed done in maintaining the purchasing power of the US$?

Fed Pres Fisher is also speaking on the economy today and the Federal Reserve and one comment specifically stands out. He said that a goal of the Fed is to maintain the purchasing power of the US dollar. To quantify the success of this or lack thereof, one should look at the rate of increase in the CPI to measure how much a like basket of goods cost over different periods of time. Using Bloomberg data going back to 1920 (as far back as it goes and the Federal Reserve was established in 1913), the purchasing power of the US$ has fallen 91% since 1920. Since 1971 when the US went off the gold standard, the US$ has lost 81% of its value. Greenspan took office in 1987 and the US$ has since lost 47% of its purchasing power. Bernanke followed Greenspan in Feb ’06 and since then the US$ has lost 8.3% of its value. This report card of the Fed’s ability to achieve a key goal speaks for itself.

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