Federal Reserve, Bank Runs and the Depression

“Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, [so] that mistakes ‑‑ excusable or not ‑‑ can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic ‑‑ this is the key political argument against an independent central bank. . .To paraphrase Clemenceau: money is much too serious a matter to be left to the Central Bankers.”
“The Fed was largely responsible for converting what might have been a garden-variety recession, although perhaps a fairly severe one, into a major catastrophe. Instead of using its powers to offset the depression, it presided over a decline in the quantity of money by one-third from 1929 to 1933 … Far from the depression being a failure of the free-enterprise system, it was a tragic failure of government.”. Milton Friedman , Two Lucky People, 233