Sunday, 22 January 2012

We can be heroes, just for...

I am indebted to the blog Viable Opposition for these quotations from the recently released US Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) minutes from their meeting on 31 January 2006 shortly before things went a little wrong in the US and world economy. The blog post itself has much more substantial comment on which to reflect.

"MR. POOLE: ... Mr. Chairman, many around the table have commented about their experience serving here. I will, of course, echo those. I would like to put a little different angle on it. Of the people who have had a major impact in my life, you are certainly one. I mark on the fingers of one hand the people who have had extraordinary influence on me. You have influenced me mostly in my professional life but also in many aspects of leadership that go beyond economics and policy in a narrower sense. So I thank you for that. I am also looking forward to continuing to learn from you. I understand that you have some books, at least in your head. And given my interest in making sure we have clear communication, I have a suggestion for a title for your first book. And it is in line with some books by your predecessors. So I suggest “The Joy of Central Banking.” [Laughter] And I suggest that your second book be “More Joy of Central Banking.” [Laughter]

"CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. How to Be a Joyous Central Banker, Even Though We Don’t Have Hearts.” [Laughter] Can we end the speculation on the title? [Laughter] Thanks very much, Bill. President Stern."

"VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER. Mr. Chairman, in the interest of crispness, I’ve removed a substantial tribute from my remarks. [Laughter]

"CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. I am most appreciative. [Laughter]

"VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER. I’d like the record to show that I think you’re pretty terrific, too. [Laughter] And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you’re even better than we think is higher than the alternative. [Laughter]"