Out on the campaign trail, Fed head Ben Bernanke is an unpopular guy.
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have both said they would replace Bernanke, not reappoint him. Congressman Ron Paul would swap the whole Federal Reserve monetary system for a gold-linked dollar, making the yellow metal legal tender. And it was Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, before he dropped out of the race, who said more quantitative easing by the Fed would be “almost treasonous.”
Republicans in Washington are equally unimpressed by Bernanke. Rep. Paul Ryan recently criticized the Fed for bankrolling our huge budget deficits and thereby accommodating a profligate fiscal policy. And former Federal Reserve Board governor Kevin Warsh, a Bernanke intimate before he left last April, just leveled criticism at the Fed’s extensive zero-interest-rate policy and its “operation twist.” (Warsh, by the way, was an economic official in the Bush White House.)
Finally, former Bush Treasury undersecretary John Taylor, author of the Taylor rule that is monitored inside the Fed, recently told me that the central bank target rate should be 2 percent, not zero.
There are two key takeaways from this onslaught of Fed criticism . . .
Read my full column here.