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Fed reporters need to inject more disbelief into their questioning

March 3, 2019

Posted by Chris Roush

John Tamny, a Forbes.com contributor, writes that reporters covering the Federal Reserve Board need to be more skeptical of central bankers.

Tamny writes, “Something about ‘economist,’ ‘Ph.D.’ and ‘central banker’ causes reporters to shrink in unquestioning fashion. To read Neil Irwin at the New York Times, or Greg Ip at the Wall Street Journal, is to read aggressive acceptance of all that central bankers believe. Even though what we call an ‘economy’ is just a collection of individuals, and even though individuals are capable of stupendous growth well beyond 3 percent annual, Irwin and Ip fall over themselves to promote the accepted view within the economics profession that there are limits or ‘speed limits’ to growth. Since they do, their readers are exposed to reporting and commentary from each that accepts the Phillips Curve and its presumed limits to non-inflationary growth as ‘settled science.’ As for viewpoints that question the notion that the human capacity to grow hits a wall at 3 percent, they’re never even discussed. Economists believe there are limits to growth, and because they do, so do Ip and Irwin.

“The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos covers the Federal Reserve full time, and like Ip and Irwin, he too has a tendency to prostrate himself before the central banking crowd. The result is that the Journal’s Fed coverage is much less than coverage. It’s just an acceptance of how central banks view the world. Who cares that economic growth is always and everywhere an effect of investment that mitigates labor shortages while pushing down the price of everything, to Timiraos the Fed’s view that growth runs the ‘economy’ into limits that result in higher costs for goods, services and labor is reality. And since what central bankers say is the same as truth for Timiraos, there’s exceedingly little questioning of what he hears from central bankers.”

Read more here.

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