Who Should Run the Fed?

Regarding the opinion-page column "Private Interests Should Not Make Public Policy," Sept. 27: Restricting monetary policy decisionmaking solely to appointed officials sounds good in theory; in practice it would be folly.The primary dilemma arises over goals. Elected officials worry more about jobs than they do about inflation. Bankers, on the other hand, worry more about inflation than they do about jobs. Unless appointed officials are given clear mandates by law that their main job is to fight inflation, it is likely that they will follow the path of least resistance - by expanding the money supply. Have we not discovered that poor people empowered by owning their own homes will take better care of the neighborhood? Similarly, bankers who have a personal stake in fighting inflation will be far more effective at this task than political appointees. Jonathan B. Wight, Richmond, Va. Department of Economics, Univ. of Richmond

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