ERIC Number: EJ1024520
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: N/A
Visions of Inflation in World History: Ghost Story III
Niederjohn, M. Scott; Schug, Mark C.; Wood, William C.
Social Education, v77 n2 p87-90 Mar-Apr 2013
This article represents the third in a "ghost story" series by the same authors. Readers may recall that Mr. Bernanke was "visited" by the ghosts of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes in the March/April 2010 issue of "Social Education" as these two famous economists debated the economic recovery (see EJ878912). Mr. Bernanke was visited once again by the ghosts of John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman in the March/April 2011 issue of "Social Education" and discussed the then new quantitative easing policy of the Fed (see EJ927064). In this article, the authors describe the impact of inflation, hyperinflation, and deflation on the nations of the world in a historical context and then present a comparison of inflation rates among world economies in 2011. Since 1978, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has hosted an annual economic policy symposium. The event is designed as a forum for central bankers, policy experts, and academics to examine emerging issues and trends in the world and in key economies. Since 1982, the meetings have been held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In 2012, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was joined by financial leaders from around the world including representatives from the Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Bank of Israel, as well as others from Sweden, Iraq, Turkey, Mexico, Ireland, Brazil and many more. The "ghost story" series picks up here, on the first night of the conference, with Bernanke slipping away from his colleagues to turn in early. Here the authors describe a dream Bernanke has, imagining what two late great economic thinkers: John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman would have said concerning his policies. Their perspectives represent: (1) economists who support the Fed's actions, arguing that the continued weak economy provides the impetus for such monetary action and that at a time of government gridlock--and without a consistent fiscal policy response from Washington--the Fed must act to stabilize the economy; and (2) economists who worry that the Fed's actions are bound to lead to high inflation in the future as a dramatic increase in the supply of money has been known to cause serious inflation many times in recent history.
Descriptors: Economic Climate, World History, Financial Policy, Public Policy, Public Agencies, Economics, Government Role, Banking, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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