Shocking stuff, right!
You all are amazed, I know. Well get this. If you
That is "conservative central banker theory" in a nutshell. I don't think I'm exaggerating but a Barro-Gordon defender can correct me if they so choose.
It turns out, Andrew Bossie has an issue with this stuff too. He recently brought my attention to an older post of his that makes a similar point w.r.t. Bernanke. He writes of the theory:
"I have never really liked the claim that you need an overly conservative central banker to maximize social welfare because your normal run of the mill central banker will over inflate. This always bothered me. There always seemed to me to be a fair amount of intellectual path dependence to that finding in the 1999 "Science of Monetary Policy" paper. I'm just not sure how you come to that conclusion without looking for it. Like, it seemed to me the New Keynesians were looking to prove the ad hoc finding that you need a central banker who's DNA tells him to keep inflation low."
This pretty much sums up our current political rock-and-hard-place in the context of a "conservative central banker":
"No securities, no stocks, no bonds, nothing but a miserable $500 equity in a life insurance policy. You're worth more dead than alive. Why don't you go to the riff-raff you love so much and ask them to let you have $8,000? You know why? Because they'd run you out of town on a rail."
Nothing teaches economics at Christmas time quite like It's a Wonderful Life.