The Pretense of Bernanke’s Knowledge

25 August 2009 at 11:23 am 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

Chairman Bernanke, in his own words:

July 2005: “[U]nquestionably, housing prices are up quite a bit; I think it’s important to note that fundamentals are also very strong. We’ve got a growing economy, jobs, incomes. We’ve got very low mortgage rates. We’ve got demographics supporting housing growth. We’ve got restricted supply in some places. So it’s certainly understandable that prices would go up some. I don’t know whether prices are exactly where they should be, but I think it’s fair to say that much of what’s happened is supported by the strength of the economy.”

July 2005: “[Recession is] a pretty unlikely possibility. We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize: might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s going to drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”

February 2007: “Our assessment is that there’s not much indication at this point that subprime mortgage issues have spread into the broader mortgage market, which still seems to be healthy. And the lending side of that still seems to be healthy.”

July 2007: “The pace of home sales seems likely to remain sluggish for a time, partly as a result of some tightening in lending standards, and the recent increase in mortgage interest rates. Sales should ultimately be supported by growth in income and employment, as well as by mortgage rates that, despite the recent increase, remain fairly low relative to historical norms. . . . Overall, the U.S. economy seems likely to expand at a moderate pace over the second half of 2007, with growth then strengthening a bit in 2008 to a rate close to the economy’s underlying trend.”

July 2009: “Overall, the Federal Reserve has many effective tools to tighten monetary policy when the economic outlook requires us to do so. As my colleagues and I have stated, however, economic conditions are not likely to warrant tighter monetary policy for an extended period. We will calibrate the timing and pace of any future tightening, together with the mix of tools to best foster our dual objectives of maximum employment and price stability.”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Austrian Economics, Myths and Realities, Public Policy / Political Economy. Tags: .

The Economist Going Austro-Demsetzian? Even Stanley Fish . . .

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. REW  |  25 August 2009 at 11:40 am

    Remind me not to say anything out loud when Peter is in the room. He has an elephantine memory!

  • 2. Rafe Champion  |  26 August 2009 at 2:59 am

    What if you say something nice. How hard is it think of something friendly and supportive about such a fine scholar and gentleman?

  • 3. Peter Klein  |  26 August 2009 at 9:05 am

    In response to a few private queries, the title is a play on Hayek’s Nobel speech:

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1974/hayek-lecture.html

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