The Federal Reserve was responsible for the Great Depression, and for much more besides. New Zealand's own Reserve Bank is modelled in many ways on the US Federal Reserve Bank (about which more later today).
Four years before he became chairman of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Bernanke (then "merely" a Fed Governor), gave a speech commemorating the 90th birthday of Milton Friedman. Below is his concluding statement:Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again.This goes up on the mantel next to Greenspan's essay lauding the Gold Standard.
For a great history of the Federal Reserve and what it's done to the money supply, this Mises Institute video up at You Tube is just the thing. 42 minutes of good Saturday doco. Enjoy.
LINKS: Bend it like Bernanke - Mises Economics Blog
Money, banking and the Federal Reserve Bank - You Tube