It is difficult to remember from the journalism package such a panic that has broken out over the news that President Trump intends to mention Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve board. The New York Times warns that the Fed may end up under the presidential "thumb". A "hidden joke," Washington Post says. "Sabotage" crying Financial Times. Everyone fights the Fed's independence.
We are tempted to say that all this attention over monetary policy warms up the litters of what is left of our heart. But the fact of the matter is that none of them ̵[ads1]1; either of the two times or the record – is concerned about an independent monetary policy. If they were, they had been in the fight for the gold standard long ago. It is the classic, constitutional way of keeping monetary policy obedient and honest.
Nor are they concerned about the qualifications of either Mr. Moore or Cain, although the democratic press has been disguised. Mr. Moore has been in the economic policy debate throughout his adult life, and Mr. Cain spent years on the board of directors – Kansas City Fed. (It is a mindset that assumes that we need more representation of regional Feds on the board.)
What the rebellion over these potential nominations reflects is the sudden notion that the president could well include monetary policy on the campaign plan he intends to keep. Remember? The Paris Climate Convention, the Iran Agreement, the Jerusalem Embassy, the tax cuts, full employment, military reconstruction, building the wall, conservative judges – can the Federal Reserve be far behind?
This issue broke out in the Republican primary debate in Boulder, Colorado, a year before the 2016 election. . He called the gold standard "glorious". The GOP platform approved giving the Congress greater control over the Fed – and a commission to begin reform.
So how can left intelligentsia give a surprise and furious view of nominees as mr. Moore and Cain? Mr. Moore has asked all the basic questions, including whether the Federal Reserve is really necessary in the first place. He hasn't fully embraced a gold standard, but he hasn't come up against it either. Mr. Cain has emerged as a blunt supporter of honest money based on gold.
"Gold," Washington Post's editorial quotes Mr. Cain says, "is kryptonite to big consumers." No doctor. economist from Princeton or Harvard could have put it in language more technically correct. Gold, Mr. Cain added, is "is for moochers and looters in government what sunlight and garlic are for vampires." Imagine the kind of talk in the Open Market Committee.
We understand that the Federal Reserve is not the right place to introduce monetary reforms. Rebuilding our monetary system is above the Fed's salary. All monetary forces given in the constitution were given to the congress. Every time the Congress has stepped up on the question of reforming our monetary system, the Fede has aroused its opposition and asserted the space it was delegated.
So it would be a step forward to have at the Fed at least two governors who are not so defensive about the efforts to reform our system. In the last generation, after all, we have seen the value of the dollar breakdown to as little as 1 900 of an ounce of gold. It still lurks at barely more than a fifth of the value at the beginning of President George W. Bush's first term. Maybe mr. Moore and Cain can do better.
Photo: Drawing by Elliott Banfield, courtesy of the artist.