The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Once A G.O.A.T. . . .

Going from G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) to Goat (stupid mammal) in just two years requires more than bad luck.

Two years ago, the head of the Fed Reserve, Jay Powell, was celebrated for his actions getting us past the pandemic.  He dropped rates and greatly expanded the money supply.  Facing soaring job losses from Covid-19 and in concert with Congress, he injected trillions into the economy.  The job losses were reduced, and the stock market roared.  Bloomberg called him “Wall Street’s Head of State.”  He was the Fed-God!

Today, he is being widely criticized for his “transitory” description of inflation.  He is accused of ignoring the severity of the inflation approaching us.  My favorite pundit, Dr. Jeremy Siegel of Wharton, has been especially critical of Powell, accusing him of being “asleep on the switch.”

Frankly, I never thought Powell was the greatest Fed- chief-of-all-time and certainly don’t think he is a “stupid mammal” now.  As no policy-maker has ever experienced a Covid pandemic, nobody knew how badly the economy was actually being hurt.  All we knew is that it would be better to do too-much, rather than do too-little . . . and we did too-much — sparking inflation.

He and Congress did the right thing . . . but too much of it!  Give the boy the benefit of a doubt.  Thank you, Jay Powell !

FYI — My nomination for the greatest Fed-chief-of-all-time is Ben Bernanke.  During the Global Financial Crisis (also known as the Great Recession), he developed and implemented quantitative easing, quantitative tightening, and “operation twist” to stabilize the American economy.  Nobody has ever introduced and successfully implemented such innovative monetary tools in such economic chaos.  He done good!