Judy Shelton’s candidacy for a seat on the Fed was approved in a party-line vote in the Senate Banking committee on Tuesday. All 12 Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee opposed Shelton’s nomination, making the GOP Senate majority potentially putting the 2016 Trump campaign advisor’s retrograde views onto the Fed.
Because in a second Trump term, stupidity will be compounded by Trump making Shelton the Fed chair. A “digital gold standard” is not the oxymoron the US economy needs. Then again IMPOTUS* couldn’t possibly be re-elected?
Judy Shelton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to serve on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate-setting panel, won narrow backing from the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, allowing her nomination to advance to consideration by the full Senate.
The United States finally abandoned the gold standard in 1971, during Richard Nixon’s first term as president. With that, a disastrous experiment in monetary policymaking came to its demise. In the nearly 50 years since then, no country on earth has seen fit to use this outmoded approach to setting monetary conditions. During that period, central banks have learned how to control inflation with spectacular success, and become more focused on the importance of promoting full employment.
… Over the years – and as recently as last year – Shelton has been a vocal advocate of returning the U.S. and global economies to a gold standard. To her credit, she has been clear about where she stands: In 2009, at the darkest moment of the global financial crisis, she opened an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal with these words: “Let's go back to the gold standard.”
If the United States had been on the gold standard at the beginning of this year, it is impossible to predict with confidence how the stance of monetary policy would have adjusted to the unfolding economic collapse. But there is no guarantee that the Federal Reserve would have moved – as it did – with historic speed and force to ease financial conditions as much as it could; and no guarantee that the Fed would have introduced a range of emergency programs to restore basic functioning in key financial markets. If gold had been at the center of the monetary system, the U.S. and global economies might well have driven over a cliff. Shelton’s support for the gold standard is not the only reason why she should not be confirmed by the Senate, but it is high on the list.
The Senate Banking Committee voted on Tuesday to advance Trump's picks to fill the Federal Reserve board, Judy Shelton, and her much less controversial fellow nominee Christopher Waller, for confirmation by the full Senate.
Why it matters: Shelton's nomination is the most contentious in recent memory. Economists and policymakers worry about her record of fringe views and that granting the former Trump campaign adviser a spot on the Fed board would politicize the central bank.
Catch up quick: The Fed has two vacant seats on its 7-governor board. If Waller and Shelton are confirmed, all but one of them will have been nominated by Trump. Current members have more traditional backgrounds for the Fed board.
On September 19, 1931, the British government decided to go off the gold standard and the pound sterling declined by a third of its value on the foreign exchange market. Lionel Robins (1934) has attributed most of the blame for the Great depression on the collapse of the gold standard.
Hamilton contended that the gold standard is susceptible to speculative attacks when a government's financial position appears weak. Conversely, this threat discourages governments from engaging in risky policy (see moral hazard). For example, the U.S. was forced to contract the money supply and raise interest rates in September 1931 to defend the dollar after speculators forced the UK off the gold standard.
Some economic historians, such as Barry Eichengreen, blame the gold standard of the 1920s for prolonging the economic depression which started in 1929 and lasted for about a decade. In the United States, adherence to the gold standard prevented the Federal Reserve from expanding the money supply to stimulate the economy, fund insolvent banks and fund government deficits that could “prime the pump” for an expansion. Once off the gold standard, it became free to engage in such money creation. The gold standard limited the flexibility of the central banks' monetary policy by limiting their ability to expand the money supply.
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