Talk about your public beautification projects. The Fed's getting a makeover and image-softening advice from an Enron lobbyist. Huh.
The Fed has probably done more than any other institution to avoid a financial disaster on par with the Great Depression. Although the stimulus spending is slow, TARP is sort of a political mess, Geithner's public-private plan is kaput, (and let's not even bring up Detroit), somehow, we're nearing a softer-than-expected landing to the recession. So why does the Fed need a facelift? And why hand the scalpel to an Enron lobbyist?
Because she actually happens to be very smart, number one. Number two, murmurs about bond rates, looming inflation and a W-shaped recovery have the Fed playing defense. As a former St. Louis Fed president said, "Some members of Congress think there are votes in attacking the Fed" because it "unnecessarily and unwisely entangled monetary policy with fiscal policy."
Sounds like some members of Congress have been getting logic-softening advice from the GOP. In fact, according to an April Gallup poll,
64 percent of Democrats approve of the job Bernanke's doing. Are
Republicans seriously considering mounting an offensive against
Bernanke? (Slim pickings, I guess.) For an unelected guy running a
mysterious old financial institution in a financial crisis, Ben
Bernanke is actually decently popular. Here's how Americans think he's
handling the economy:
And here's how it breaks down by political affiliation:
Finally, let's look at the popularity of the main characters in the DC drama.
Ultimately I guess I have no problem with the Fed getting into PR. In normal circumstances, the Fed is the man behind the curtain you pay no attention to. But these aren't normal circumstances, and when you sequentially pledge something like $8 trillion in one year, you're going to have some attention paid to you. Spiff up that curtain, by all means.
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