Cutting Through The Crap

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ben Chimes In



Here are a couple of reactions to a speech Ben Bernanke just made, addressing misconceptions about the Fed, and monetary policy. I'm in no position to argue, much less absorb it all, but it seems pretty sensible. Some might say, because it addresses what are mostly right-wing shibboleths, that it's political. But, as they say, facts tend to have a liberal bias. From my limited ability to judge, it seems factual and pretty free of professorial language (which would instantly discredit it, right, Sarah Palin?) Worth reading. I'd recommend it to my favorite and sadly infrequent nay-sayer, PT:

Myths about the Fed are legion (repeated ad nauseam by pundits and politicians) and it seems that Bernanke realizes that the more exotic Fed policy becomes, the more he must inevitably debunk memes in order to justify his actions. Lowering rates during normal times is fairly uncontroversial and easy to understand. Buying bonds on an unlimited basis while indicating that rates will be kept low for years requires some 'splaining. Today's mythbusting is an extension of something he did at his September 14 press conference, when before the Q&A he specifically addressed three key points.
So what ground did Bernanke cover today?
Let's just work our way through it all...
The above is from the first link, a much more in-depth discussion of what Bernanke said. He does, indeed, work through it, and it left me strangely optimistic that he knows what he's doing. Now, if we can manage to keep The Rominee's hands off the economy, we might just end up okay. Fiscally. (In his infamous 47% speech, he also acknowledged that the economy is likely to improve no matter what he were to do, which is another reason I'd hate to seem him elected: as the economy does recover, as the longer term effects of Obama's efforts continue to kick in, if slowly, Mitt'd get credit, based on nothing more than the calendar.

On the other hand, as the inevitable improvement solidifies, Rs will find a way to explain how it had nothing to do with Obama, and had they not blocked everything he wanted to do after the initial stimulus, things would have been much worse. Count on it.

[Image source]

No comments: