Senior mainstream economist now admits central banks are not as independent as many believe

The UK Guardian published quite an odd article the other day (May 30, 2024) by Mr GFC Spreadsheet Fudge Man Kenneth Rogoff – Why policymakers are more likely to risk high inflation during periods of economic uncertainty – which essentially claims that economic policy has been conducted for several years by institutions that do not meet the essential requirements that are specified by the mainstream New Keynesian macroeconomic approach, upon which the institutions have claimed justification. If that makes sense. He now claims that the eulogised principle of ‘central bank independence’, which is a mainstay of the New Keynesian justification that macroeconomic counter stabilisation policy should be left to monetary authorities and that fiscal policy should play a supporting but passive role, no longer exists as policy makers have had to come to terms with multiple crises. Of course from an Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) perspective such independence never existed and was just a ploy to allow the governments to depoliticise economic policy making and thus distance themselves, politically, from the fall out of unpopular policy interventions. If it wasn’t the IMF to blame, then it was the ‘independent’ central bank for austerity and interest rate hikes and all the rest of it. Now we have a senior Harvard professor admitting it was a ruse and bemoaning the fact.

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