Must-Read: Matt Phillips: Bernanke: I’m not really a Republican anymore

Must-Read: As I have said before and will stay again, the Republican Party could be taking a serious policy victory lap right now, not just with respect to health policy–as Mitt Romney tried to do yesterday before losing his nerve and pulling back–and with respect to monetary policy. they could be pointing out right now that the most successful recovery in the North Atlantic from 2008-9 was engineered by Republican Ben Bernanke following Friedmanite countercyclical monetary policies.

But no!

They would rather be Hayekians, predicting imminent hyperinflation…

Why? I think it’s the Fox News-ification of political discourse: terrify people in the hope that you will then gain their attention and they will give you money…

Matt Phillips: Bernanke: I’m not really a Republican anymore: “Ben Bernanke has publicly broken ranks with the Republican party…

…In one of the more revealing passages of… The Courage to Act… [he] lays out his experience with Republican lawmakers during the twin financial and economic crises….Continual run-ins with hard-right Republicans… pushed him away from the party that first put him in charge of the Fed….

[T]he increasing hostility of the Republicans to the Fed and to me personally troubled me, particularly since I had been appointed by a Republican president who had supported our actions during the crisis. I tried to listen carefully and accept thoughtful criticisms. But it seemed to me that the crisis had helped to radicalize large parts of the Republican Party….

The former Princeton economics professor said he had:

lost patience with Republicans’ susceptibility to the know-nothing-ism of the far right. I didn’t leave the Republican Party. I felt that the party left me.

He later concludes: ‘I view myself now as a moderate independent, and I think that’s where I’ll stay’…

October 24, 2015


Brad DeLong
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