This is an important and fundamental question that no one can ever give a good answer to. I mean the entire meeting of the people that formed the Fed was so secret they only used first names at the meeting. President Wilson conceded after he signed it into law that he did a bad thing.
Some would argue that keeping it independent keeps it free from political influence and what not which is true but also irrelevant. It caters to the bankers and feeds corporate cronyism.
As we speak they are keeping and have been keeping rates at what most would call artificially low levels. Who benefits from that? Pretty much corporate America and that's it.
What they are doing is de-valuing the $ and the middle\lower classes. You can't even get a savings account that pays the current rate of inflation. In other words they are eroding the spending power of the 99%. The stock market has gone up significantly under Obama and why? Primarily because of Fed policy. These people are legal crooks and at the least should have to be audited on a regular basis.
I mean it's a pretty sweet gig when you can print money, set the rate of lending and then force banks to have to come to you for $. People are in prison for doing similar but the Fed can do it clean and clear and hide their books at that.