MiB: Adam Posen, Peterson Institute

This week, we speak with Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Over the course of his career, he has contributed to research and public policy regarding monetary and fiscal policies in the G-20, inflation targeting, European integration since the adoption of the euro, China-U.S. economic relations, and developing new approaches to financial recovery and stability.

Posen served as an economist in international research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1993-94); He was an external voting member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (2009-12); and has been President of the Peterson Institute since 2013. In 1998, he was one of the co-authors of a book on “Inflation Targeting” with Ben S. Bernanke.

We discuss the failures that led to the great financial crisis, and he puts less blame on the Fed’s overly accommodative monetary policy and more on the malfeasance of Fed Chair Alan Greenspan radical deregulation. He cites his colleague Prof Michael Mussa of University of Chicago, who observed “Just as you don’t want a conscientious objector as a commandant of the Marine corps, you don’t want Alan Greenspan as the lead regulator of the US financial system.”

Posner explains the different impact of fiscal stimulus versus monetary policy has been. The Fed is more prophylactic in nature, and why they can work to prevent catastrophe, they cannot create prosperity by themselves.

In the last cycle, the Fed underestimated labor slack and were overly concerned with inflation rather than recognizing deflation. Add to that the failure of Congress to pass fiscal stimulus and you have a recipe for a slow weak recovery and increasing wealth disparity.

A list of his favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Penny Pennington, Managing Partner (CEO) of Edward Jones. The 98-year old Fortune 500 financial services firm has over 7m clients, with $1.3 trillion in assets and 17,000 financial advisors. Pennington is first non-family member to manage the firm; she is ranked #33 in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business list.




Adam Posen’s Co-Authored Book

Inflation Targeting: Lessons from the International Experience by Ben Bernanke, Thomas Laubach, Frederic S. Mishkin, Adam S. Posen


Adam Posen’s favorite books

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System by Barry Eichengreen

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War by Robert Gordon

The Age of Diminished Expectations, Third Edition: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s by Paul Krugman

The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton


Books Barry Mentioned

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed


The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us by Robert H. Frank & Philip J. Cook


End The Fed by Ron Paul

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