John Taylor: The Fed's Rightful Chairman

Tyler Durden's picture

Precisely a year ago, in advance of the then farcical renomination of the genocidal maniac for his nth term at the printer's, Zero Hedge nominated John Taylor of Stanford for Fed Chairman. Of course, in the subsequent theater in which the purchased cretinous zombies with Wall Street bank indulgence accounts known as Congressmen, it was a given that the Chaircreature would be appointed for his subsequent (and last) term. Yet in the intervening one year, Taylor's role in monetary affairs has only gotten stronger, to the point where BusinessWeek has just released an article titled: "John Taylor: The Republicans' Shadow Fed Chairman." Author Scott Lanman writes: "He doesn't have a vote in Congress. He doesn't sit on the powerful
Federal Open Market Committee. He isn't a member of President Barack
Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. Nonetheless, Stanford University's
John B. Taylor is considered one of the most influential economic
voices in Washington. Taylor's followers include the new GOP House leadership, the chairmen of
key House committees, Presidential hopefuls, conservative thinkers, and
others suspicious of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's
stimulative monetary policy and perceived alliances with Obama
Administration officials.
..Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who chairs the
House Budget Committee and speaks to Taylor every two to three weeks,
says he "is probably the leading voice with the highest level of
credibility in proposing an alternative view to the Fed's." We are delighted that as Bernanke's career is about to go down in flames for terminally destroying this once great country, there is a natural successor, who in our humble belief is worthy. Do we smell a mutiny in the Eccles?

More from BusinessWeek:

Taylor, 64, seems to relish his new role as shadow Fed chairman. He has produced a flurry of well-timed newspaper op-eds and open letters, speeches, and papers. "I think there's a responsibility in civil society to speak out," Taylor says. Some of his views have hit a nerve. "He's very mild-mannered and easygoing personally," says Alan S. Blinder, the former Fed vice-chairman. "When he gets the word processor in his hand, he sometimes is intemperate."

It's not just the Fed's easy-money policy that gets Taylor typing furiously. He's also critical of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's monetary calls. Taylor claims that had Greenspan followed his monetary policy formula, called (what else?) the Taylor Rule, interest rates from 2002 to 2005 would have been higher, preventing the housing bubble and bust and the unemployment that followed. Greenspan counters that Taylor has made "a number of inaccurate connections" about his record.

Taylor also decries Obama's $814 billion economic stimulus package, saying it neither boosted the economy nor lowered unemployment. States mostly used the funds to reduce their level of borrowing, he says, rather than to increase spending.

Great Scott: the man gets it. And no just that...

Taylor's latest beef is round two of Bernanke's quantitative easing, dubbed QE2, in which the Fed plans to buy $600 billion in government bonds. Taylor says QE2 shows no evidence of working and risks stoking inflation. Bernanke took the unusual step of defending the policy in a Washington Post op-ed and on CBS' (CBS) 60 Minutes. He declined to comment for this story.

He was among 23 signatories to an open letter to Bernanke in the Nov. 16 Wall Street Journal and New York Times, calling on him to halt the bond purchases. The next day the four top Republicans in Congress, including now-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who had met with Taylor and other economists before the election, wrote to Bernanke expressing "deep concerns" over the purchases. Two weeks later, Taylor and Ryan, in an op-ed in Investor's Business Daily, wrote that "QE1 failed to strengthen the economy, which has remained in a high-unemployment, low-growth slump, and there is no convincing evidence that QE2 will help either."

For those wondering where Ron Paul gets his economic ideas, look no further:

Taylor's advice to GOP lawmakers: take away the Fed's discretion to set rates and make it follow a Taylor Rule, or similar recipe. He also proposes stripping the Fed of its mandate to pursue full employment, which Taylor says the Fed has used irresponsibly to justify QE2. Even some of his Fed allies are wary of his by-the-numbers approach. "This is no criticism of John: No model I know of replicates the real world," says Dallas Fed President Richard W. Fisher. Still, with the ear of so many Republicans, Taylor is likely to keep the Obama Administration and the Fed on the defensive for the next two years.

An ideal world would be one in which the Fed would not exist. Alas, for that to occur a full-blown revolution would have to occur (which at the rate food prices are rising is not unimaginable, as we had speculated in the past). In the absence of that, the best of all evils is to immediately replace Bernanke with Taylor. And by the sound of it, the wheel has already started to turn. We can only hope that Bernanke's ouster will occur before his disastrous policies have created more revolutions, more deaths, and more violence around the world, and in the US.

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