The visible hand in economics

Was Greenspan a big softy

Posted on: August 31, 2007

Yves Smith think so. His argument is that, even though we didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, Greenspan really really cared about equity markets. He was scared of them, and he didn’t want to go out there and nail them as much as he should have. By being ‘hostage’ to the equity markets, Greenspan surrendered some of the Central Banks integrity. He gave up the hard arse, anti-inflationary image of the Central Bank that Paul Volcker had created.

I’m not sure I agree completely, I mean Greenspan did have the ability to keep inflation in the bag for 19 years. However, his unclear style of speaking and his refusal to target a clear level of inflation did create unnecessary uncertainty in the marketplace, and to some degree, may have damaged the inflation fighting power of the Federal Reserve.

A Reserve Bank governor needs to be a clear speaker, who finds the mere idea of inflation repugnant. That is why Don Brash did such a good job.

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1 Response to "Was Greenspan a big softy"

[…] credit markets are important for the dissemination of credit between agents.  However, the Feds historic willingness to counter any hiccup ensures that distribution of credit is inefficiently heavy at the riskier end of the market, […]

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