The reason the gov't can do this crap is because of the unholy gov't/big-finance alliance, made possible by the FED. In this country, the idea of gov't / big biz alliance and empire goes back to Alexander Hamilton (Thomas Jefferson's philosophical enemy).
The FED has a gov't licensed monopoly to print money. In return gov't gets a blank check to pay for all kinds of pork, welfare and warfare, blank checks funded by money created out of nothing, whose perpetual interest payments are paid with the income tax on wages. (The FED and the progressive income tax were created the same year - 1913 - no coincidence - gov't would need a new income stream to pay for the central bank).
The FED is the enforcement arm of a banking cartel. So what you are witnessing, are the antics of a cartel. The real purpose of the FED, is to protect the biggest banks. That is, protect them from free market competition, from their smaller competitors (smaller banks), protect them from losses due to highly profitable but highly risky ventures with implicit bailout guarantees.
Modern central banking is probably history's greatest, longest running scam. It is the only institution that is protected from nations' own legislatures - they call it "privacy", which really is "secrecy". That makes them completely undemocratic.
Bankers, bureaucrats, and tyrants throughout history have constantly wanted to control money and inflate it to profit from it. (e.g. put emperor's faces on gold coins then shave them to produce new coins) The coup was when the concept of the central bank was invented - a cartel protected by gov't itself:
If you wanna understand money and central banking's history, read this short free book:
What Has Government Done to Our Money?
"more regulation" is never gonna work, because the corruption is inherent in the system.
The way to get around this system is to (1) audit the FED and (2) repeal legal tender laws and get rid of fees and taxes on conversion to and from USD, gold, and silver. (both bills are in congress!)
This will allow competition against the USD and will put a crimp on the FED debasing the currency. (This is why bankers and gov't hate any kind of commodity standard, it's a crimp on inflating the money supply, which is key for the financial parasites to profit)