Saturday, 24 April 2010

A rare interview with the New York Fed Chairman

Planet Money - a public radio show that deals with issues in economics - has managed to secure a radio interview with the Chairman of the New York Fed, William Dudley.

The event is quite significant: prior to this interview, only Federal reserve's system's chairman, Ben Bernankie, made his views public. The head of the new York fed has only spoken to the media twice more in the bank's 103 years.

The New York Fed is by far the largest of all the reserve banks of America - in the latest crisis it played a very active role in saving the Investment house of Bear Sterns - that was a New York Fed bail out.

This interview breaks new ground as it shows that the American regulatory system is beginning to allow more public scrutiny of its actions, while at the same time reaching out and explaining to the public why some decisions were taken.

The interview is starling in other ways as well. It destroys Greenspan, the ex-Fed reserve system chairman. Greenspan argued that the Central bank should not meddle in the financial system as is terrible is spotting financial bubbles. Dudley argues that maybe the reason is that the Fed system never tried to spot and then deflate such speculation bubbles before it was to late. The new York Fed is now thinking of changing its charter so speculation bubble deflation is added to its list of duties (which include supporting the banking system, keeping an eye on inflation and maintaining the exchange rate).

Very positive news indeed - lets hope the fed system takes Dudley's ideas on board - and maybe the inflexible Eurozone also moves this way.

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