5th December 2012
It’s tempting to blame Fedophilia, or what Larry White calls “status quo” bias in monetary research, on the Fed’s direct influence upon the economics profession. According to White, in 2005 the Fed employed about 27 percent more full-time macro- and monetary (including banking) economists than the top 50 US academic economics departments combined, while disseminating much of their research gratis through various in-house publications or as working papers. Perhaps not surprisingly, despite a thorough review of such publications White could not find “a single Fed-published article that calls for eliminating, privatizing, or even restructuring the Fed.” That professional monetary economics journals are not much better may in turn reflect the fact, also documented by White, that Fed-affiliated economists also dominate those journals’ editorial boards.
But I doubt that a reluctance to bite the hand that feeds them is the only, or even the most important, reason why most economists seldom question the Fed’s desirability. Another reason, I suppose, is their desire to distance themselves from…kooks. Let’s face it: more than a few persons who’d like to “End the Fed” want to do so because they think the Rothschilds run it, that it had JFK killed because he planned to revive the silver dollar, and that the basic plan for it was hatched not by the Congressional Committee in charge of monetary reform but by a cabal of Wall Street bankers at a top-secret meeting on Jekyll Island.
Oh, wait: the last claim is actually true.