Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com
As European leaders are being criticized for their austere approach to economic recovery, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is similarly fending off critics who believe he's not doing enough to grow the economy. Europe's obssed with cuts; Bernanke, the argument goes, is obssessed with inflation.
Remember, the Fed has two mandates: to create "stable prices" (largely, keeping inflation in check) and to help maintain "full employment". Bernanke's critics, of late, have accused him of worrying far too much about the former.
And at the heart of the debate is whether a tactic long-taboo to central bankers, inflation, is in fact what the U.S. needs to drive unemployment down. (Think of the effect inflated housing prices could have on unemployment.)
During yesterday's Paul vs. Paul debate on Bloomberg TV, Paul Krugman again argued that the "notion that wages are fixed and any inflation comes at the expense of workers is wrong. Wages tend to rise faster in an economy that's doing well." Ron Paul portrayed any inflationary policies as theft from savers.