Ben Bernanke at lunch with Martin Wolf

What a treat! Martin Wolf interviews former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at lunch in Chicago.

Bernanke, in response to a question from Martin Wolf, says

“It’s ironic that the same people who criticise the Fed for helping the rich also criticise the Fed for hurting savers. And those two things are inconsistent. But what’s the alternative? Should the Fed not try to support a recovery?”

He continues, warming to his theme: “If people are unhappy with the effects of low interest rates, they should pressure Congress to do more on the fiscal side, and so have a less unbalanced monetary-fiscal policy mix. …. And this is certainly not an argument for the Fed to do nothing and let unemployment stay at 10 per cent.”

Other critics argue, I [Martin Wolf] note[s], that the Fed’s intervention prevented the cathartic effects of a proper depression. He teases me by responding that I have a remarkable ability to keep a straight face while recounting what he clearly considers crazy opinions.

Martin Wolf, “Lunch with the FT: Ben Bernanke“, Financial Times, 23 October 2015 (metered paywall).

Ben Bernanke (born 1953) chaired the central bank of the United States (the Federal Reserve) from 2006 to 2014.

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