Ezra Klein: What Bernanke should say today (and won’t)

There’s a great sharp piece — funny too — from Ezra Klein today at the Washington Post. Klein did the best coverage of the debt ceiling debate that I followed, and he’s one of the few commentators out there who seems to realize how bad the economy really is while still managing somehow, to write about it entertainingly.

Klein has long felt that the Federal Reserve should be doing much more than it is (and I agree). Here’s a snippet in the imagined words of Bernanke in his speech later today:

“The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee has 12 members. If I’m being generous, five or six of them seriously understand how bad things are right now. And outside these walls, a guy who wrote a book called ‘End the Fed’ now chairs the House committee that oversees us. Sarah Palin appears to be developing strong and incoherent views on monetary policy. Paul Ryan dabbles in this stuff. If I went public with what really needs to be done — buying bonds related to the real economy rather than Treasury bonds, paying a negative rate on bank reserves so they move the money we’ve given them out of our coffers and into the labor market, doing price-level targeting so we make up for the years of sub-2 percent inflation with a few years where inflation is above 2 percent — I’d be strung up tomorrow.”

There is much more in the piece.