Been Down So Long, What’s Up?

Alabama experts examine the often-trumpeted role of the Federal Reserve in setting interest rates — stuck for years now near zero.

The Federal Reserve reports neither to Congress nor the president of the United States, who appoints the Federal Reserve chair. In a figurative sense, when the Federal Reserve System says “Jump, ” the financial world asks, “How high?” But why? Just what is the Federal Reserve, and why is it held…

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