Money: Fuss Over the Federal Reserve

You have been the most costly public official in the history of the world.

This judgment, delivered at his desk-pounding best by Texas Democrat Wright Patman two weeks ago, was an expected but more than usually hyperbolic condemnation of William McChesney Martin. At each of his 18 yearly appearances before congressional committees, Martin has been routinely scourged for his chairmanship of the Federal Reserve Board, which Populist Patman blames for tight money and high interest rates. This year Patman has plenty of company. More critics than ever, ranging from academe to the new Administration, are taking aim at the nation's central...

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