March 01, 2007

Fed Fed Fed Fed

There's no such thing as too much discussion of the Fed, inflation, and unemployment. Not at all. So in that spirit, check out this debate between Mark Thoma and James Galbraith.

Thoma thinks the Fed's basically doing a fine job. Galbraith, not so much. He says the Fed's much too afraid of the prospect of inflation—which was wrung out of the system in the 1980s thanks to a strong dollar and the decline of industrial unions. "[T]he notion that the economy rests on some fragile knife-edge, always ready to slip over into rising inflation if the Fed becomes incautious, is not only wrong but pathological." Now Galbraith does seem to be one of the few people in the 1990s who thought that we could have full employment without inflation. And he was right, no? Anyway, not being an expert and all, I haven't the first clue how to score this dispute, but it's educational all the same.
-- Brad Plumer 8:57 PM || ||