Raising the Bar

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Thu Sep 3 07:58:16 PDT 1998

By now there is no hipness in calling for the Fed to lower interest rates. Krugman did a piece on it. James Glassman, the Post's libertarian financial columnist has done it. Today Robert "no relation" Samuelson chimed in, along with Jack Kemp. Kemp is also calling for world adoption of the gold standard, but this only shows he has a sense of humor.

The chief holdouts seem to be in the Clinton Administration, notably Larry Summers. [At EPI we're considering the inauguration of a new award, to the economist who destroys the most economic output by the age of 40. Obviously Summers and Jeff Sachs are leading contenders. Other nominations are welcome.]

A related note: what with the massive breach of the "NAIRU" and the present, manifest ineptitude of the Great Economic Minds in charge of world affairs, it is not too early to think about a new political campaign, the gist of which is "mainstream economics is full of shit."

A serious question is what additional, simple (if major) actions, such as currency and capital controls, spending the budget surpluses, etc., are also called for presently. I'm thinking in terms of points of political agitation.

Another q. is why, in the face of all this, Greenspan and the Fed remain Sphinx-like.

The next Fed Board of Govs meet is 9/29, in Washington.


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