The Monetary Executive
60 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2022 Last revised: 20 Mar 2023
Date Written: August 25, 2022
Contemporary presidents possess a significant array of powers to intervene in the economy unilaterally, via executive order or the Treasury Department’s tools. But the Constitution does not vest the Executive Branch with monetary or fiscal power. Rather, the President has accumulated vast monetary power gradually, over time, through successive delegations from Congress. This Article traces the development of a constitutional oxymoron—the “Monetary Executive”—through the lens of statutory delegations. Ultimately, the Article urges that the consequence of this migration of monetary power from Congress to the Executive will be corrosive to our democratic institutions and contribute to inflation—undermining the central bank’s independence, eroding fiscal discipline, and perpetuating policy error.
Keywords: constitutional law, separation-of-powers, non-delegation doctrine, monetary policy, Federal Reserve, presidential authority
JEL Classification: K23, K20, N20, P44, E65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation