Charles Evans is the president of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. On January 14, he gave a speech in Hong Kong. As with all speeches by Federal Reserve Bank officers, except for Bernanke the Boring, he was careful to say that his views were only his own. “Before I begin, let me say that the views I express here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) or within the Federal Reserve System.” This, of course, is utter poppycock. No outfit in Hong Kong pays good Chinese currency to buy US dollars in order to hire the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to fly to Hong Kong and give a speech based solely on his opinions. He was flown there in order to get insight into what a member of the Federal Open Market Committee thinks.
What he thinks is standard Federal Reserve nonsense. But it is always nice to refresh our memories about how such ideas really are nonsense.
TRANSPARENCY, SO CALLED
First, he reaffirmed the myth that the Federal Reserve System has an interest in letting the public know what it is doing and why. He spoke about the new “transparency.” Well, if the Federal Reserve had ever wanted transparency, it could have had it at any time over the last century. It has never wanted transparency. It has fought Congress tooth and nail every time Congress has attempted to get a little more transparency. Bernanke refused to appear before Ron Paul’s subcommittee on monetary policy. So, what you are about to read is a con job, and anyone who believes it is a blithering idiot.
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