Ron Paul Is Your New Fed Watchdog.

True, he's always been a Fed watchdog, but now it's official: America's most prominent Fed critic is now the chair of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed. I previewed this transition, and the strange bedfellows it's producing, a few weeks ago:

Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, are mounting an extensive critique of the Fed's latest policy, even suggesting it's time to rewrite the institution's operating mandate. But Paul is still not exactly on the same page.

"I think they're missing the whole point," he says. "I don't want the Fed to have any power!"

While the right's embrace of Paul's critique of the Fed is revealing of how far right Republicans have shifted on economic issues in the last few years, Paul is correct that few in the GOP entirely share his perspective. The Republican establishment hopes to use Paul's aggressive critique of the Fed to bolster their political ambitions, while Paul hopes Republican politicos can create broader support to abolish the institution.

Read the whole thing to learn how Republicans blocked Paul from holding this post twice in the last decade, what's changed since then, and what the always-quotable Barney Frank has to say about it.

-- Tim Fernholz

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