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June 16, 2004

Getting A Handle On The Economy

What Steve Roach at Morgan Stanley had to about politics and interest rates (complete comments):

“Hans Tietmeyer [former president of the Deutsche Bundesbank] went out of his way to venture into perhaps the most delicate and important aspect of monetary policy — political independence.  Fiercely independent in his own right, he maintained that central banks should not even be located in the same city as the seat of government.  The monetary authorities need to be removed totally from the political debate.  In this vein, he was clearly worried about the political pressures currently bearing down on America’s Federal Reserve in this election year.  He framed his concerns in the context of a simple but powerful counter-factual example: He was reasonably certain that if there were not an election looming in the US, the decisions to tighten would have already been made.  Some of the most difficult moments in economic history have been accompanied by the politicization of central banking.  As I saw it, Hans Tietmeyer was sounding the alarm in that regard.”

(thanks to eric at umass)

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