Focus on Monetary Policy and Inflation

Focus on Monetary Policy and Inflation

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In a February 18 commentary, attorney Ralph Benko argued that the Constitution permits the states to have their own currencies as long as they take the form of gold and silver coins, and that it would be a good idea for them to do so.

On February 16, the International Monetary Fund published a study examining reserve requirements by central banks around the world.

On February 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published a study of core inflation, which strips especially volatile commodities from the CPI to get a better idea of underlying inflationary trends.

A February 11 report by Morgan Stanley warned about inflation becoming a problem in the near future.

On February 10, the European Central Bank published a study of inflationary expectations. It finds that while some short-run measures have risen lately, long-run measures still show inflation to be under control.

On February 9, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on whether monetary policy can create jobs. The lead witness was economist Thomas DiLorenzo, who is principally known for books that are extremely critical of Abraham Lincoln.

In a February 8 speech, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher was highly critical of (unnamed) members of Congress who blame the Fed for economic problems that were actually caused by congressional actions.

In a February 2 commentary, economist Nicolas Groshenny argued that the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate – price stability and full employment – caused it to deviate from the Taylor Rule in the 2001-2006 period, thus contributing to imbalances that led to the 2007-2009 recession.

On January 31, Stanford economist Robert Hall posted a working paper on the causes of the great slump. He fingers the zero-bound problem, which prevented interest rates from falling enough to stimulate aggregate demand.

Also on January 31, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published a study on the macroeconomic effects of the Fed’s asset purchase program. It finds that the program reduced unemployment significantly and prevented the economy from falling into deflation.

On January 28, Morgan Stanley posted a report on the outlook for inflation in major countries.

On January 26, Federal Trade Commission economist David Glasner posted a paper on how deflation and the zero bound problem necessarily bring about a sharp decline in asset prices.

I last posted items on this topic on January 26.

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.