Ben Bernanke will likely go down as the least capable chairman of the Federal Reserve or at least tied with William Miller for that dubious honor. Bernanke has flooded the economy with liquidity in having the Fed support the spending spree started by George Bush and continued fourfold by Barack Obama. A continuing discussion at the Fed is from Bernanke continuing to press for monetizing the national debt by buying long term Treasuries after having bought the securities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and creating a commercial paper facility to buy commercial paper. I wrote in a piece a couple of years ago that the Federal Reserve's policies were destabilizing and adding to the uncertainty in the economy. What the Fed needed to do if it wanted to ensure that the economy would be on the right track and start to grow without inflation would be to adopt a monetary rule and grow the money supply at a rate equal to long term economic growth. Well lately there has been a rash of articles saying the same thing. John Taylor at Standford and Allan Meltzer of Carneige-Mellon have written pieces saying the same thing. Adopt a monetary rule, quit the knee-jerk reaction to contemporary events and focus on the long run. Maybe they will be listen to since obviously someone writing here in fly-over land keeps getting ignored.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com