Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence”

Congressional historian Sarah Binder joins neighbor and investment manager Mark Spindel in a look at the history of the relationship between the Federal Reserve and its legislative parent, Congress. The result is the Princeton University Press book The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve.

Central to the book is the notion that the two institutions are interdependent rather than independent. The authors advocate that through legislation over the years, Congress has set up the Federal Reserve to bear the brunt of blame during times of financial crisis. This blend of political science, history, and economics was a hit for our panel. Why is it important to realize the relationship between Congress and the Fed is interdependent? What roles do transparency and accountability play in the relationship?

Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence””

Our American Discourse, Ep. 27: Why the Federal Reserve Is More Politically Constrained Than You Think

We’ve been having a mistaken debate, or so it would seem based on the new book The Myth of Independence. The Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank and most influential economic regulator, isn’t as independent as critics like Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders suggest. Congress created it, and Congress continues to shape it to the people’s will. This new perspective might just change your expectations about Fed policy and your appreciation for their delicate strategic work.

In this episode, Sarah Binder discusses the historical research that led to this new thesis and helps us appreciate the interplay between two of America’s most important political institutions.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 27: Why the Federal Reserve Is More Politically Constrained Than You Think”

Best of the Week: March 14-20, 2010

10. Why Fritz Hollings Is Wrong About Economists — David K. Levine
9. Washout for the Anbar Awakening — Marc Lynch and Followers of Sadr Emerge Stronger After Iraq Elections — Anthony Shadid
8. Unhappy Yemen — Tariq Ali
7. People Vote for Competence Not Policy — Adrian Hamilton, What Failure Would Cost the Democrats — Norman Ornstein & Thomas MannMcConnell Strategy Shuns Bipartisanship — Carl Hulse & Adam Nagourney, and What Happened in Massachusetts — Stephen Asolabehere & Charles Stewart III
6. Global Cooling Bites the Dust: Hottest January Followed by Second Hottest February. Now March Is Busting Out. — Joseph RommGlobal Boiling: Freak Storms on Every Continent — Joseph Romm, and NASA: “It Is Nearly Certain That a New Record 12-Month Global Temperature Will Be Set in 2010” — Joseph Romm
5. Lehman’s Demise, Dissected — William D. CohanCurbing Risk on Wall Street — Oliver Hart & Luigi Zingales, How Bank Credit-Market Funding Helped Spread the Global Crisis — Claudio Raddatz, and How Chris Dodd’s FinReg Proposal Solves the Problem of Information, but Not of Regulators — Ezra Klein
4. Is the U.S. “Offer” to Iran on Medical Isotopes a Pretext for More Coercive Action? — Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett and Rafsanjani Makes His Move — Geneive Abdo
3. Is the Bible More Violent Than the Quran? — Barbara Bradley Hagerty and Lenten Thoughts — Gary Wills
2. Health Reform: What Happens When? — Austin Frakt and A Viewer’s Guide to This Weekend — Sarah Binder
1. As Things Get Worse in Pakistan, the Optimism Continues to Soar — Robert FiskPakistan to America: What Have You Done for Us Lately? — Arif Rafiq, Into the Terrifying World of Pakistan’s “Disappeared” — Robert Fisk, and Don’t Forget India — Nikolas K. Gvosdev
BONUS: Square Dancing — Steven Strogatz and Financial Imagineering — Steven E. Landsburg