Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heterodox Central Bankers

The annual conference of the Central Bank of Argentina was held this week. The theme was the role of the Central Bank in the process of development. Jamie Galbraith, the actual author of the draft of the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act, also known as the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, which gives the Fed its triple mandate of full employment, growth, and reasonably stable prices, opened the conference after the talk by the president of the bank (the video of Jamie's talk is available here; h/t Revista Circus), Mercedes Marcó del Pont. Jamie warned against falling into the trap of assuming that the crisis has only one cause, and was very pessimistic about the possibilities of a more rapid and vibrant recovery in the developed world. Phil Arestis (presentation here) closed the conference, with more emphasis on regulation issues, and his assessment was equally pessimistic. If the policies of central banks, in particular the ECB, and the austerity measures in the developed world are not reversed soon a long period of stagnation might ensue, as Anwar Shaikh (shown above with Stuart Holland, Jamie, and the president of the central bank) reminded us.


  1. Interesting to see Central Bank of Argentina engaging with the Hetredox economists. I wish we had something similar in India as well. Frankly, I was (pleasantly) surprised by your presence in RBI/ADB conference!

    1. Thanks Kumar. It was great meeting you too. Note that in the 1930s many top central bankers, like Marriner Eccles at the Fed or Raúl Prebisch at the BCRA, were quite heterodox and for full employment policies.


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