Is it just me or is the main job of the Fed chairman to be not-smart-enough to stop crises but just-smart-enough to prevent them from being too destructive? If Bernake had spoken out under Bush about deregulation and the impending economic doomsday, he would have been forced out or ignored. Under Obama, gutsy proposals or non-mainstream thinking could have saved us a lot of money and jobs, but was contrary to the administration’s suppositions. So Ben went with the flow, paddling just hard enough the other way to get reappointed. Congrats. We have this idea that the chairman should be apolitical while doing an incredibly political job. The result is a maintenance engineer who comes in with a bag of wrenches and gauges when the policy-makers fuck up but doesn’t warn everyone in advance that the roof is about to cave in. We need a little more proactive movement from the nation’s top economist – a title that’s starting to sound a lot like “world’s best phrenologist.” What’s the point of an independent Federal Reserve again?

Advertisements