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Priceless: How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession



September 10, 2009 – Comments (3)

MY COMMENT: Fooldom started this discussion back in Feb 2007. I remember arguing with Fools about how damaging and dangerous the FED was. Now it is obvious, who caused the bubble and the aftermath that is coming. These idiots trying to blame capitialism are off the mark, we do not have capitialism in the US. We have corperatitism with socialized losses privatized profits.

"No one is on the financial hook, other than the taxpayer. Consider the case of Citigroup, a seriously troubled bank. Chuck Prince, the CEO who fell flat on his face, walked away with close to $100 million. Win Bischoff, former chairman and interim CEO of Citigroup during the debacle, has just been appointed chairman of Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom--reflecting the high esteem in which he is apparently still held. And Robert Rubin, Treasury secretary under Clinton, made over $100 million as board member and chair of Citigroup. In an interview late in 2008, he brushed off any responsibility for the mismanagement of anything. And so, our recurring financial crises are not isolated random events; they emerge from a pattern of private and public sector behavior. Enabled by the Fed, our system's tolerance for risk is out of control. This is an increasingly dangerous system. It is only a matter of time until it collapses again."

Now the Huffington Post has an outstanding write up here:

Priceless: How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession

The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found. This dominance helps explain how, even after the Fed failed to foresee the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, the central bank has largely escaped criticism from academic economists. In the Fed's thrall, the economists missed it, too.

"The Fed has a lock on the economics world," says Joshua Rosner, a Wall Street analyst who correctly called the meltdown. "There is no room for other views, which I guess is why economists got it so wrong." One critical way the Fed exerts control on academic economists is through its relationships with the field's gatekeepers. For instance, at the Journal of Monetary Economics, a must-publish venue for rising economists, more than half of the editorial board members are currently on the Fed payroll -- and the rest have been in the past. The Fed failed to see the housing bubble as it happened, insisting that the rise in housing prices was normal.

In 2004, after "flipping" had become a term cops and janitors were using to describe the way to get rich in real estate, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that "a national severe price distortion [is] most unlikely." A year later, current Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the boom "largely reflect strong economic fundamentals." The Fed also failed to sufficiently regulate major financial institutions, with Greenspan -- and the dominant economists -- believing that the banks would regulate themselves in their own self-interest. Despite all this, Bernanke has been nominated for a second term by President Obama. In the field of economics, the chairman remains a much-heralded figure, lauded for reaction to a crisis generated, in the first place, by the Fed itself. Congress is even considering legislation to greatly expand the powers of the Fed to systemically regulate the financial industry.

The rest is here:

Of course one of the only honest and educated Congressman saw it coming February 19, 2007:

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 10, 2009 at 3:20 PM, leohaas (30.08) wrote:

I cannot believe it: a Libertarian quoting Huffington Post! Isn't that a liberal rag?

And core to this article is the following statement:

"The Fed also failed to sufficiently regulate major financial institutions, with Greenspan -- and the dominant economists -- believing that the banks would regulate themselves in their own self-interest."

Allow me to parse that: "The FED failed..." implies that the FED was supposed to do something, but didn't. So you now see a role for the FED you want to abolish? And what was it supposed to do? "...regulate major financial institutions...". So lack of regulation of the financial institutions did us in, right?

Translation: we need more regulation. Liberals were right all the time!

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#2) On September 10, 2009 at 3:29 PM, DarkToast (32.19) wrote:

Come on Leo, just because Abitare links to an article doesn't mean that he agrees with each and every word in the article or follows the political beliefs of the website that published it.

Your response is classic 'strawman fallacy'.

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#3) On September 11, 2009 at 3:35 AM, SuperPicks (28.35) wrote:

Excellent and educating post.  Thank you.

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