Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, a fierce critic of the Federal Reserve, has been appointed chair of the House subcommittee that oversees the bank. In the past, the outspoken libertarian (and author of a book called "End the Fed") has introduced legislation to abolish the Fed, and he made the issue a cornerstone of his 2008 run for president. Is the future of the Fed in jeopardy? (Watch Ron Paul discuss a Fed audit)
Yes — Paul has the people on his side: "Populist (especially conservative populist) backlash against the Fed is ascendant," says Adam Sorensen at Time, and the Fed's most ardent critic "now has a platform from which to challenge Bernanke et al. on the transparency, autonomy and, yes, existence of the institution."
"Chairman End the Fed"
Bernanke faces a tough time, but the Fed will survive: Paul will "attack" the Fed's latest monetary policy, says Joshua Green at The Atlantic, and use his position to promote free-market capitalism over the existence of the Federal Reserve system. "I have my doubts over how successful Paul will be," but Bernanke and the Fed ought to prepare for yet more "national anger [directed] at the central bank."
"Look out Ben Bernanke, Ron Paul is gunning for you!"
At least Paul's new job rules out a 2012 run: "The anti-Paul side of the GOP" will be aghast at this big Tea Party victory, says David Weigel at Slate. But they should find comfort in the notion that his new appointment "makes it less likely that Paul will run for president in 2012." If Paul had been denied this post, which he's long been "gunning for," he might have looked for "another way to spread his message" and pursued a second run for the nation's top job.
"Ron Paul to chair monetary policy subcommittee"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Why baseball is America's most dangerous spectator sport
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
Quake comparison: Chile vs. Haiti
Subscribe to the Week