Larry Summers Welcomes Ben Bernanke To The Blogosphere The Only Way He Knows How

By telling Bernanke he doesn't know jack about monetary policy.
Author:
Publish date:

Very nice. Now let the grownups do the talking.

Which is to say, rudely. Or, perhaps more charitably, with an aggressively polite explanation of how he, Larry Summers, is right, as he always is. What does it all mean? Well, it means we are screwed, although not as screwed as the Europeans and Japanese—but their being screwed is going to screw us, too. It may also mean that someone else should be running the Fed, but Larry’s going to let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

I have argued that the 2003-2007 recovery and quite possibly the late stages of the 1990s recovery were powered in significant part unsustainable financial conditions. Ben is skeptical...I think that it will be hard to escape the conclusion that household debt grew at an unsustainable pace in the decade before the great financial crisis and that this was an important spur to growth. And I am fairly confident that wealth effects associated with a booming stock market were important in the late 1990s...Throughout the industrial world the vast majority of the revisions in growth forecasts have been downwards for many years now. So, I continue to urge that it is worth taking seriously the possibility that we face a chronic problem of an excess of desired saving relative to investment. If this is the case, monetary policy will not be able to normalize, there will be a continuing need for expanded public and private investment, and there will be a need for global coordination to assure an adequate level of demand and its appropriate distribution.

On Secular Stagnation: A Response to Bernanke [larrysummers .com]
Why are interest rates so low? [Ben Bernanke's Blog]

Related

Jeffrey Lacker Hopes Ben Bernanke's Right. But He's Pretty Sure He's Wrong.

It takes a strong man to look at Ben Bernanke's gentle, bearded face and tell him to piss off. Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, is just such a man. Lacker's used every opportunity to let Bernanke and his rotating cast of puppets that they're wrong about the stimulus and that they're imperiling what used to be the Fed's only mission, controlling inflation. And he's apparently doing so at substantial risk to his own standing, because while bickering, name-calling and kicking-and-screaming disagreement is all the rage every else in the District of Columbia, dissent does not go over well at the marble Politburo on Constitution Avenue NW.

Larry Summers Supposedly Too Rough Around The Edges To Be Named Fed Chairman

Who should replace Ben S. Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in January 2014? If anyone cared to ask us, we'd say no one: we like our Fed Chairman soft-spoken, bearded, and just as comfortable in dad jeans as they are in their bespoke Jos. A. Bank suits. But nobody asked and, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernanke has told "close friends" that regardless of whether or not Obama wins a second term, he's ready to move on. Apparently qualified successors are few and far between and while Larry Summers is said to be "at the top of the list," the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may finally be granted freedom from his own personal Guantanamo Bay and will also necessitate a replacement who will have to work closely with the new Fed Chair poses some staffing issues, on account of the perception that Summers is somewhat difficult to work with. ...[Summers is] a serious economist who knows his numbers and has a worldview that is similar to the president’s. He would be expected to continue the loose money policy of Mr. Bernanke. But one of the knocks against Mr. Summers is that he has a reputation for not playing well with others. He has had his own run-ins with the president. And if you consider the Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman as a tag team, you would have to be confident that whomever you pick for Treasury secretary would get along well with Mr. Summers. So he called some former students assholes. So he'll cut a bitch for getting between him and his steady stream of Diet Coke. So he chooses to sleep through co-workers' particularly boring presentations. So he makes female colleagues feel like "pieces of meat." So he shoots people unequivocal death stares that say, "I could have you killed and no one would find out" for the mere suggestion he might want to consider wearing socks. Is all that to say he's not an otherwise affable guy who'd make a fine workmate and prized addition to an office softball team? Casting Dual Roles At Treasury And The Fed [Dealbook]