On Constitution Day, Congress Abdicates Constitutional Responsibilities to Fed

Two hundred and twenty eight years ago today, thirty nine delegates gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Constitution of the United States. This profound document states clearly in Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have the Power To … coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. Today, 228 years later to the day, an unelected bureaucrat named Janet Yellen will announce the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decisions that will impact the value of our money. Americans need to remind elected officials that Congress, and only Congress, has the authority to

Zero Interest Rates and Uncharted Territory

At her June 17th press conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated: Returning to monetary policy, as I noted, the Committee reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to ¼ percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.  As we said in our statement, the decision to raise the target range will depend on our assessment of realized and expected progress toward our objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. There obviously is nothing wrong with the Fed’s objectives of maximum employment and minimum inflation.  God, however, as Mies van der Rohe once said, is in the details.

Yellen to Hillary: What’s the Problem?

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that it is maintaining its existing policy of historically low interest rates, stating that the policy “remains appropriate.” When asked at the news conference about the renewal of this controversial policy and whether there is a role for congressional bills affecting Federal Reserve actions, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen replied, “What’s the problem?” The Fed Chair insisted that the institution is extremely transparent and questioned what else Congress and the public could possibly want. With Hillary Clinton making income inequality a key campaign issue, one has to wonder—will she address Yellen’s stubborn insistence that the

Janet Yellen’s Pickle

Have you ever heard of a pickle? I don’t mean what you put on a hamburger. I’m talking about one of the funniest sequences in baseball—when a base runner gets a little too aggressive and finds himself caught between two bases, running hopelessly back and forth as the basemen trap him on the base path and eventually tag him out. That’s a pickle. And boy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is in one heck of a pickle. Peter Morici wrote an interesting piece in the Washington Times last week where he speculated that the Federal Reserve may choose not to

What Does Janet Yellen Fear?

A conversation last month between New York Sun editor (and former WSJ editor) Seth Lipsky and radio host Dawn Bennett raised some interesting points on monetary policy and the Fed: Ms. Bennett: It is quite clear to me that the Federal Reserve doesn’t want the rest of us to actually be able to see what they really up to. If we did know what they’re doing, do you think most Americans would just want it shut down? To your point, since 1913, the dollar has actually lost over 97% of its purchasing power. And of course, the economy has been subjected to one

Conservatives Talk Monetary Policy with Janet Yellen

Last Friday, a coalition of more than 20 conservatives and libertarians met with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to discuss the impact of Fed monetary policy on middle income and working families. The group, led by American Principles in Action Director of Monetary Policy Steve Lonegan, received a lot of great press coverage. Lonegan worked diligently to make this meeting happen. Back in December, after news broke that Yellen had met with a group of left-leaning community activists, Lonegan sent a letter to Yellen requesting a meeting with a group of center-right thought leaders and economists. Initially, the Federal Reserve

Janet Yellen Meets the Right

In my weekly Forbes.com column today, I described the presentations made at a meeting led by American Principles in Action with Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen and Governor Lael Brainard last Friday.  To read the full column, click here. An excerpt: Janet Yellen, meeting with 21 members of the center right, in Washington … may actually have made some real history. While this story was reported by the AP (as carried, among many publications, by the New York Times, ABC, Fox Business, and Salon.com), the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, the Washington Examiner, and theDaily Signal, among others, there is more

What Brian Domitrovic told Janet Yellen

Brian Domitrovic was one of 22 conservatives invited by American Principles in Action to meet with Janet Yellen last Friday. In his column yesterday for Forbes.com, Domitrovic reveals what he told the Fed Chair: In the era of the near-classical monetary standard, the economy enjoyed a long rush of investment into the production of finished goods and services, into ‘real’ purposes that help human beings live better. In the non-classical eras, investment in primary inputs to the exclusion of finished production of other goods was so great that it took on the aspect of a distortion. The rush into commodities in the