Roubini on Bernanke

Nouriel Roubini recommends that Ben Bernanke be retained as chairman of the Fed. As the economist who (perhaps) most accurately forecast the housing bust and subsequent recession, I expect his opinion will carry considerable weight. A quick excerpt:

Mr. Bernanke understands that in the Great Depression, the collapse of the money supply and the lack of monetary stimulus during contractions worsened the country’s economic free fall. This lesson has paid off. Mr. Bernanke’s decision to keep interest rates low and encourage lending has, for now, averted the L-shaped near depression that seemed highly likely after the financial collapse last fall.

And:

To be sure, an endorsement of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment comes with many caveats. Mr. Bernanke, a Fed governor in the early part of this decade, supported flawed policies when Alan Greenspan pushed the federal funds rate (the policy rate set by the Fed as its main tool of monetary policy) too low for too long and failed to monitor mortgage lending properly, thus creating the housing and credit and mortgage bubbles.

He and the Fed made three major mistakes when the subprime mortgage crisis began. First, he kept arguing that the housing recession would bottom out soon (it has not bottomed out even three years later). Second, he argued that the subprime problem was a contained problem when in reality it was a symptom of the biggest leverage and credit bubble in American history. Third, he argued that the collapse in the housing market would not lead to a recession, even though about one-third of jobs created in the latest economic recovery were directly or indirectly related to housing. Mr. Bernanke’s analysis was mistaken in several other important ways. He argued that monetary policy should not be used to control asset bubbles. He attributed the large United States current account deficits to a savings glut in China and emerging markets, understating the role that excessive fiscal deficits and debt accumulation by American households and the financial system played.

Link here.

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One thought on “Roubini on Bernanke

  1. Of course, … Bernanke – the same expert who only last year told Congress wonderful fairytales about housing, the markets, and the economy just as the bubble was beginning its implosion.

    Apply the controls available, without inventing new ones, and refrain from creating a Nation dependent on its government (through politicized cronyism) for financial success. Prosperity has no address on that road.

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/07/bernanke-and-super-fed-say-its-over.html

    Make changes at the top and change the structure over money’s controls.

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