Wednesday, September 09, 2015

First, do your job

Larry Summers (who can surprise on occasion) argues against the Fed's assumed upcoming interest rate hikes here. All of Summers's points are good. But the one that most gets at the issue, I think, is this.
From the Vietnam War to the Euro crisis, from the Iraq war to the lessons of the Depression we surely should learn that policymakers who elevate credibility over responding to clear realities make grave errors.  The best way the Fed can maintain and enhance its credibility is to support a fully employed American economy achieving its inflation target with stable financial conditions.  The greatest damage it could do to its credibility would be to embrace central banking shibboleth disconnected from current economic reality.
Are the people running our institutions there to make sure things run correctly, or are they there to make important friends and network?  The answer is almost always the latter, of course. But if only a few of them would recognize it's possible to do both sometimes, we might be better off. 

No comments: