Tag Archives: Greenspan

Quote from the past: Decision Making at the FED

Why not bring something small from the past up and add some irony?

I just stumbled upon this hidden jewel in wikipedia as I was reading about the economist and ex-FED board member Alan Blinder. We get some insights about the decision making “process” of the most powerful institution of the world. A fool who is disconcerted by this ;-).

[Economist] Rob Johnson, who watched the Blinder ordeal, says Blinder made the mistake of behaving as if the Fed was a place where competing ideas and assumptions were debated. “Sociologically, what was happening was the Fed staff was really afraid of Blinder. At some level, as an applied empirical economist, Alan Blinder is really brilliant,” says Johnson.

In closed-door meetings, Blinder did what so few do: he challenged assumptions. “The Fed staff would come out and their ritual is: Greenspan has kind of told them what to conclude and they produce studies in which they conclude this. And Blinder treated it more like an open academic debate when he first got there and he’d come out and say, ‘Well, that’s not true. If you change this assumption and change this assumption and use this kind of assumption you get a completely different result.’ And it just created a stir inside – it was sort of like the whole pipeline of Greenspan-arriving-at-decisions was disrupted.”

This put him in conflict with Greenspan and his staff. “A lot of senior staff… were pissed off about Blinder – how should we say? – not playing by the customs that they were accustomed to,” Johnson says

(Emphasis added)

Interpretation is left to the reader. Enjoy.


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