Author Archives: Peter Conti-Brown

new preface for The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve

by Peter Conti-Brown — Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2017

I’ve reached the happy milestone of republishing my book, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve, in paperback. This means a new preface, copied below. It’s long, but because I spend a lot of time in it discussing some of the themes and ideas that first found their home in these digital pages, I thought I […]

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Donald Trump’s most important Fed appointment (Hint: It’s not the Fed Chair)

by Peter Conti-Brown — Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

Given the tumult of the opening weeks of the Trump Administration, the public is forgiven for not realizing that the Administration is woefully understaffed. But even in the flurry of personnel announcements from first the transition team and now the Administration, on the Federal Reserve—perhaps the most powerful of governmental agencies—we have had near radio silence. Of […]

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Republicans and the Russians: What Sen. McConnell’s inquiry has to do with Fed independence

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

Today Senator Mitch McConnell, in an apparent reversal, launched what he described as a bipartisan inquiry into whether the Russian government sought to interfere with the US election. Given that President-elect Trump hasn’t been too fond of this theory of the election, and that Sen. McConnell forcefully defended the CIA and intelligence community while the […]

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The Fed’s “nuclear option” for checking the Trump Administration (Trump versus the Federal Reserve, part III)

by Peter Conti-Brown — Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016

Yesterday, I discussed why the Fed’s political power is something that both it and the Trump Administration should consider in the coming confrontations that one can expect between them. Today, I want to focus on the Fed’s legal strategy by resurrecting statutorily permissible but largely discarded patterns of Fed governance that could require Trump to […]

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Trump versus the Federal Reserve, part II: Reports of the Fed’s demise are greatly exaggerated

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

[This post is drawn in part from a forthcoming policy brief co-authored with Simon Johnson] Last week, I said that we should not expect the Trump-Republican coalition to have the same hawkish posture toward monetary policy that we saw within the Republican coalition during its anti-Obama years from 2009-2017. There are coalitional tactics and there […]

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Core Principles and Coalitional Tactics: Why We Should Expect Republicans–and Certainly the Trump Administration–To Change its Tune About Tight Monetary Policy

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Nov. 21, 2016

[This blog post comes in part from a policy brief co-authored with Simon Johnson, forthcoming] Like all the other academic idiots out there who failed to see this coming, I thought Trump’s chances for victory very low. Time was, I worried that Trump’s loss in November, the Fed’s raising of rates in December would lead […]

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Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve

by Peter Conti-Brown — Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

Central bankers often insist that ideology, values, worldview, and—that much-hated term—politics play no role in influencing their decisions. This is a very useful dodge on their part. It’s a dodge because, as I have argued in my book The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve, expertise is inevitably and appropriately ideological, the process that […]

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Why is Judicial Biography So Hard To Write?

by Peter Conti-Brown — Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016

I don’t envy the reading load that William Domnarski undertook on his way to writing his biography of Richard Posner. By his account in an interview, he read all of Posner’s judicial opinions, numbering some 3,000. And then he read “most of them for the second time,” and “some for the third time.” He then […]

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The Extraordinary Influence of Daniel Tarullo

by Peter Conti-Brown — Thursday, June 9, 2016

I’m a bit late on this—my wife and I just welcomed a new baby last week, so even this little blog post is a minor miracle—but Wall Street Journal reporters Emily Glazer and Ryan Tracy have a fascinating profile of Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo, whom they rightly call in the article’s headline “The […]