Where We'd Be Without a National Bank

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America's bank, the Federal Reserve, has helped stabilize our national economy. It wasn't always a given.

Today, The Federal Reserve, America's central bank, is an object of national obsession, at least for anyone wondering — or worrying — about the economy.  After the financial meltdown in 2008, the Fed bailed out banks when they were in trouble and then lowered interest rates to nearly zero to jumpstart economic growth.

Now that the crisis is over, the (unending) question is, "When will the bank raise interest rates?"

But the steps the bank took to bail out the economy have also drawn criticism, especially from those who think the Fed is overstepping what it can or should do.

In many cases, they're complaints that have been lobbed at the Fed since its creation more than a hundred years ago.

Roger Lowenstein has followed the Federal Reserve for years as a financial reporter who has written for the The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Fortune. In his latest book, America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve he explains how the arguments today about the financial system and the Federal Reserve echo the same ones that were made when the bank was created in 1913.

Listen to Lowenstein take Money Talking host Charlie Herman back in time to the days when supporters of the national bank were a daring minority, fighting an epic battle for greater financial stability and uniformity.