Politico reports that Wall Street is sharpening its long knives for Rand Paul

Andrew Jackson Fighting the Bank, 1832 (photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Politico reports that:

Rand Paul traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, recently and delivered a sure-fire applause line. “Anybody here want to audit the Fed?” the Kentucky senator asked. “Anybody feel that the Fed’s out to get us?”

He followed it up with an op-ed comparing the Federal Reserve to Lehman Brothers and calling it essentially bankrupt. The bash-the-Fed routine, perfected by Paul’s father, former Texas congressman Ron Paul, is political gold with libertarian voters suspicious of all federal authority, especially a central bank with a $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

But Paul could face a significant challenge if he emerges from Iowa with a legitimate shot at the Republican nomination. … And the establishment wing of the GOP — backed by piles of Wall Street money — views Paul’s approach to the Fed as dangerous and irresponsible.

Politico is on to something.  But it’s not so much about some “libertarian” voters as it is with populist (small ‘r’) republicans.  They, as in some ways does Dr. Paul, represent a recurring political force whose roots go back at least to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, two very successful presidents.

Jefferson mortally opposed to the Fed’s original predecessor, the First Bank of the United States, successfully pushed by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.  Jackson mortally opposed its successor, the Second Bank of the United States, and effectively closed it down. As noted in a publication by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson…was afraid that a national bank would create a financial monopoly that would undermine state banks. 

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