Monday, September 19, 2011

Volcker on inflation

Today in the NY Times, former chairman of the Fed and Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board argues forcefully against higher inflation as a potential tool for rebalancing the economy. Elsewhere, folks like Ken Rogoff and others have suggested that a period of higher inflation might be the most direct path to recovery from a position of overleverage. An article in Bloomberg from 2009 presents a discussion, including the strategy of price-level rather than inflation targeting.

Volcker's got to be the preeminent authority on cleaning up the aftermath of inflationary policies, and his point is plain:  expectations of higher inflation are extremely hard to wring out of the economy, so it's not worth going there.

Courtesy of Greg Mankiw's blog, here's another perspective on related issues, courtesy of John Taylor.