Populism and the Future of the Fed

The distinguished contributors to Populism and the Future of the Fed examine populist demands to expand the Fed’s mandate and the threat to the demarcation between fiscal and monetary policy.  All the essays, except those by Charles Plosser and me, stem from Cato’s 39th Annual Monetary Conference,…

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In December 1946, Clark Warburton published an article in the Political Science Quarterly titled, “Monetary Control under the Federal Reserve Act,” which was reprinted in chapter 14 of his landmark book, Depression, Inflation, and Monetary Policy (1966). He argues that the Federal Reserve’s failure to prevent the…

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The Fed's long-awaited report on central bank digital currencies is finally out. Although the report makes it clear that the Fed has no immediate plans to issue a digital currency, it does point to the approach the Fed would be inclined to take were it to do…

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Ever since Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell described cyclical or COVID-related elements of inflation as "transitory" (an ambiguous phrase now retired), critics repeatedly seized on year-to-year changes in price indexes as evidence that inflation was instead accelerating every month. As I have noted before, however, the stubborn…

Starting with the April 2021 release, virtually every monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report has indicated some form of abnormally high inflation. For instance, the April CPI rose 4.2 percent over the previous 12 months, the largest year-to-year increase since the period ending September 2008. Similarly, the…