When I sat down to read John Tamny’s fantastic new book — Who Needs the Fed? — I expected a tome about the errors taking place at the Federal Reserve, specifically in regard to zero-interest rate policy and quantitative easing.
And yes, in some respects, Tamny fulfilled that expectation. But Who Needs the Fed? digs into big picture topics that are far more relevant to our daily lives than esoteric concepts such as money supply, M1 and M2, capital requirements, liquidity, and — hey, wake up! — I promise you, this isn’t that type of book.
Instead, Tamny has formulated a revolutionary new way to understand the economy. Who Needs the Fed? will lead you to question everything you thought you knew about the federal government’s role in our daily lives. It will also make you skeptical of what you hear on TV from so-called “experts”.
Who Needs the Fed? is an incredible read, even if you don’t have much of a knowledge base about economics. Tamny uses pop culture and the world of sports to describe complicated concepts and make them easy to understand. Some of these topics — I mean seriously, we’re talking about monetary policy here — have no business being exciting. And yet Tamny manages to bring them to life in a way that makes his 202 page book positively engrossing.
Credit is the central concept of Tamny’s book. “Credit,” Tamny writes repeatedly, “is not money.” Instead, it is “always and everywhere the actual resources — tractors, cars, computers, buildings, labor, and individual credibility — created in the real economy.”
To illustrate the meaning and value of credit, and why it exists as an independent phenomenon unaffected by central planners at the Federal Reserve, Tamny uses more than a dozen real-world examples. He cites technology firms like Uber, Amazon and NetJets. He tells fascinating stories about investors like John Paulson and venture capitalists like Peter Thiel. He employs a clever sports analogy about former Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and eventual replacement Jim Harbaugh. He explains the differences between investment in Silicon Valley and investment in Hollywood, referencing the careers of Spike Lee, Robert Downing, Jr., and Warren Beatty.
And he writes about Taylor Swift. A lot. Because she is awesome.
Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe.