The only thing wrong with our non-stop arguments about Federal Reserve policy is that they're not quite hateful enough. Fortunately, somebody has brought religion into it, which should help solve that problem.
Christopher T. Mahoney, a former vice chairman of Moody's, recently wrote in a blog post at Project Syndicate that Protestants stink at monetary policy. At the end of a hyperbolic short post that occasionally says one or two true things about hard-money conservatives being afraid of inflation for no good reason, Mahoney drops this doozy (emphasis added):
Why is the Right so in love with hard money, low inflation, and high unemployment? Here is my answer: because they do not believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch. You could spread out a smorgasbord of caviar, salmon, lobster and Dom Perignon, and they would turn their heads and eat a cheese sandwich. Reflation is easy and thus sinful. It’s that Protestant thing. The only people who understand monetary policy are Jews and Catholics.
Now here are my reactions to each of the above sentences, in order, as I read them: I don't know, why? OK, sure. Would they? Sure, OK. Wait, what? Holy crap!!!
Hey, by the way, Chris, the Protestant Paul Volcker, who was kind of good at doing monetary policy type things back in the 1980s, is holding for you on Line One.
On Line Two, meanwhile, is the Ghost of the Catholic Friedrich Hayek, author of The Road To Serfdom and patron saint of libertarianism. Hayek, by the way, was a student of the Jewish Ludwig Von Mises, the godfather of the conservative Austrian School of economic thought.
So there you have three famous proponents of tight monetary policy, from three different religions. Also, Slate's Matt Yglesias notes that several of the demonstrably worst Fed chairmen we have ever had were Jewish.
Why, it is almost as if one's religion has no bearing at all on one's approach to economics!
Fortunately, we all know better than that. Atlantic economics writer Matthew O'Brien quickly reassured his readers of his bona fides as a Fed observer:
Good news. I was raised Catholic, so you should keep reading me on the Fed. http://t.co/RuSd2ilO0s
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) August 16, 2013
BuzzFeed writer Matthew Zeitlin reminded us of what it really means to be "the chosen people:"
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) August 16, 2013
But as an atheist/agnostic/pagan/whatever, I have them all topped because I am obviously smarter than them all. Boom, step aside Janet Yellen and Larry Summers (both Jewish). Me for Fed chairman. Quod erat demonstrandum.