And it was a completely unforced error...
Monetary policy: For a one-handed Fed: PAUL KRUGMAN'S latest column on the inactivity of the Fed in the face of persistent high unemployment touched off another round of hand-wringing over why the Fed is standing pat, particularly since Ben Bernanke is a noted scholar of the Great Depression who has written extensively on the ways monetary authorities can fight recessions. What gives? Some imagine that Mr Bernanke has changed his mind on the economics while others believe that as a Republican he's happy to provide help to the opposition ahead of November elections. The simpler and more likely explanation, in my view, is that the FOMC consists of more people than Mr Bernanke, and it is difficult to build a consensus within that group.... I also agree with Felix Salmon:
Bernanke is a consensus builder, as Krugman knows, having been part of the Princeton economics department during Bernanke’s tenure as its head. And it may or may not make sense for the Fed to ease much more aggressively. But so long as that remains outside the general consensus, Bernanke’s not going to do it.
The spate of competing conflicts in recent weeks indicates that there is a bit of an intellectual battle taking place within the Fed as a result of the second quarter's disappointing economic numbers. This suggests to me that the situation remains fluid and there is some set of events that could build a consensus around additional easing. It's just too bad that the current, languishing, disinflationary state of the economy isn't enough to get the Fed to act.
I think that the general rule in the future should be that nobody who has not served a full term as a state governor or managed a similarly large organization should be supported in any presidential run. FDR and DDE are certainly the class acts of the twentieth century.