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« A Guide for the Young Economist, 2nd Edition in the works | Main | "Paradoxically, greater philosophical sophistication would put economists in closer touch with the real world." Mario Rizzo on why methodology matters. »


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Mark Gertler of NYU has an op-ed in Friday's Financial Times defending the Fed's "independence."

Strangely, he concentrates on the inflation-fighting under Volker rather than the previous inflation-creation. Furthermore, he pre-judges the outcome of the Fed's recent interventions during the financial crisis. Aside from that, he ignores the poor Fed policy creating "bubbles" under Greenspan. I think there is a confusion between the notion of "independence" and the idea of "good" monetary policy. Consider: recent Fed interventions have not been independent of fiscal policy (with its politically directed expenditures); they have been slavishly accommodating. Yet Gertler considers them "good."

These pro-independence arguments are all (surprisingly) very poor. Yet I do think things would be worse if Congress got *directly* involved in making Fed policy. Bad can go to worse. The main problem is that those who are ideologically wedded to the present system can't imagine real change in the monetary system. I am happy that they are being unnerved.

How about the felonious decisions that infected the financial operations of our economy from Alpha to Omega?

Dare I posit that restoring confidence in bad decisions is the primary driver for every USG action?

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