The first farewell speech has been drafted

And it comes from the pen of Binyamin Appelbaum. It´s de rigueur to say nice things about the people who are leaving, and BA does a good job, strongly inflating Bernanke´s grade ! How inflated, for example, is the praise in this paragraph, typical of the piece ?

Mr. Bernanke, who plans to step down in January after eight years as Fed chairman, will be remembered for helping to arrest the collapse of the financial system in 2008. This shy, methodical economist who had been expected to serve as the keeper of Alan Greenspan’s flame — to preserve the Fed’s hard-won success in moderating inflation — emerged under pressure as perhaps the most innovative and daring leader in the Fed’s history.

But what Mr. Bernanke did after the crisis may prove to have even more enduring influence. For almost three decades, the Fed focused on moderating inflation in the belief that this was the best and only way to help the economy. In the wake of the crisis, Mr. Bernanke forged a broader vision of the Fed’s responsibilities, starting experimental, incomplete campaigns to reduce unemployment and to prevent future crises.

The Bernanke Fed has failed to fully achieve its goals. Growth is still tepid, unemployment still too high, inflation still too low. Some critics continue to warn — so far, incorrectly — that its efforts will unleash inflation or destabilize financial markets.

But this paragraph stings:

“During the crisis, it was clear that they were pulling out all of the stops to try to find a solution, and once the financial system stabilized and the problem was merely 10 percent unemployment, then they moved more slowly,” saidLaurence Ball, an economist at Johns Hopkins University,who wrote in a 2012 paper that Mr. Bernanke has lacked the courage of his convictions.

But whatever the high praise that´s bestoed on Bernanke over the next few months, there´s no escaping this “depressing” image:

Business Cycle Symmetries_2


3 thoughts on “The first farewell speech has been drafted

  1. “…then they moved more slowly… Bernanke lacked the courage of his convictions”

    No, he didn’t. He took the law into his own hands, fear mongering about inflation while throwing the dual mandate under the bus so hard, the long term unemployed will have road-burn and tire marks on them for a decade or more. We have the monetary policy he wants.

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