Thursday, August 4, 2011

St. Louis Fed President Agrees with Me (Sort of)

James Ballard, President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, agrees with me that, as far as measurements of price inflation goes, "The Core Is Rotten." In an article taken from a speech delivered in New York back in May of this year, Ballard argues that too much attention is being paid to so-called core inflation, refuting four popular arguments in favor of the core statistic as he goes. I am happy to see a Fed president agreeing with me on the inefficacy of using "core inflation" as a policy guide.

Still, Ballard does not get everything right. As a Fed president he still embraces the Fed's mission to work for stable prices, meaning he still thinks we need a central money making machine to create money out of thin air. He also accepts headline inflation statistics, such as the CPI, as useful measures of the price level. Nevertheless it is nice whenever a Fed President speaks the truth.

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