Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Opinions on Bernanke

Ed Glaeser defends, while Paul Krugman weakly supports. Glaeser's point is that monetary policy is a very blunt instrument for redistributing wealth or gains and losses from risk taking, which is one way to characterize populist or anti-banker sentiments. It seems like Krugman's legitimate beef revolves around the Fed's opposition to consumer protection; it isn't the case at all that the Fed isn't doing what it can to lower unemployment, which is another of his gripes.

Update: Greg Mankiw posted a link to a derivative that allows bets on Bernanke's confirmation. Odds seem to have shifted rapidly against him last week, and more recently in his favor.

Update: On the day Alan Blinder defended him in the Times, Bernanke was confirmed by a final vote of 70-30, with the most no votes in history, ahead of Volcker's previous record of 16 in 1983.