James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Kudlow’s insight on Yellen

March 15, 2010

Larry Kudlow isn’t thrilled with the Janet Yellen Fed pick. This is the crux of his beef:

There is no evidence in Ms. Yellen’s public opinions or speeches that she might use a market-price rule — targeting commodities, gold, bond rates, or the dollar — as a forward-looking inflation (or deflation) signal. So the absence of a commodity- or dollar-price rule will continue at the Fed. Ben Bernanke doesn’t use a market-price rule, and Obama’s additional Fed appointees — whoever they are — will undoubtedly come from the same Phillips-curve camp.

Supply-siders like myself who believe that only market prices can provide accurate signals of the supply and demand for money are going to be very disappointed. If the Fed supplies more cash than markets want, the inflation rate can go up whether unemployment is high or low. We learned this painfully in the 1970s, when high unemployment was accompanied by high inflation.

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