Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Battle of the Beards: Bernanke vs. Krugman"

There are plenty of places you can get the story but CNN Money  has the headline (and a rather hirsute asst Managing Editor).
From CNN Money's Economy blog :

Resistance is futile ... you will be assimilated!
By now, you have probably heard of the "feud" taking place between Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Nobel-prize winning New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman. And if you haven't, what the heck are you doing reading this blog?

Anyway, here's the lowdown in case you aren't up to speed. Krugman took Bernanke to task in a Sunday NYT magazine piece, criticizing Bernanke for not doing enough to tackle the problem of high unemployment. Krugman argued that a temporarily higher level of inflation might be necessary (and not problematic) to help bring down the unemployment rate.

In one of the more damning (and most widely picked-up) comments, Krugman geeked out (in a sci-fi, as opposed to econowonk, sort of way) and compared Bernanke to the infamous Borg of "Star Trek" fame, writing that Bernanke's refusal to consider higher inflation targets as an option show he had been "converted into a half-robot servant of a hive-mind."

Bernanke responded to questions about Krugman in his press conference Wednesday, saying that seeking a higher inflation rate would be "reckless" and only lead to a slightly faster pick-up in the drop in unemployment. He added that it risked damaging the Fed's reputation as an inflation-fighter.  Krugman gleefully retorted that this was further evidence that Bernanke had been assimilated by the Borg....MORE