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The Fed understands itself

The former St Louis Fed president, William Poole, now consultant for California-based Merk Investments, made an interesting statement on the Fed policy tradition. In an interview with Germany’s n° 1 daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Poole stated:

In historical perspective inflation is a means to diminish the stress felt by debtors. The policy of the US central bank is construed to create inflation to alleviate that stress. Its monetary policy was, is, and will be “lax” until the economic situation, and the situation of financial firms, will be improved. All in all this will entail an inflationary tendency, even if the latter will entail a bundle of new problems in another three or four more years.

Poole here confirms the Austrian interpretation of what central banking is all about: special-interest policy in the short run, with harmful aggregate consequences in the medium and long run. Significantly, Poole made this statement only after he had left the Fed (he quit in March).

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