Thursday, December 16, 2004

Back in the days before the neocons took over America, I actually believed there was such a thing as an "independent central bank" which maintained significant autonomy from a President's administration and was determined to obstruct every effort to turn government power towards the interests of anybody other than finance capital. Thus not independent from it's true masters -- they're bankers after all for God's sake -- but at least independent of the politicians du jour.

O, how young and na�ve I was!
Senior Republicans sounded out Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, about taking over from John Snow as US Treasury secretary, the Financial Times has learnt.

The informal approach, which would have put the most respected economic leader in the US in charge of President George W. Bush's ambitious second-term domestic agenda, was declined. . . .

In a separate effort to strengthen its economic team by bringing in a Fed policymaker, Ben Bernanke, an influential Fed governor, is the leading candidate to replace Greg Mankiw as chairman of the White House Economic Advisers.
So it turns out that Fed Governors really are nothing more than Republican political hacks. I know we all had our just suspicions when Greenspan wholeheartedly endorsed Bush's profligate tax-cutting escapade, but I'm glad we've finally got the record set straight for all to see.

I trust the phrase "independent central bank" will now be excised from the English language and from all introductory economics textbooks forthwith.


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