Central Bank Governance and Oversight Reform

Central Bank Governance and Oversight Reform

Editors: John H. Cochrane, John B. Taylor
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1924-5
Publication Date: 5/1/2016

The Fed: how much power is enough . . . or too much?

How can we balance the central bank’s authority, including independence, with accountability and constraints? Drawn from a 2015 Hoover Institution conference, this book features distinguished scholars and policy makers’ discussing this and other key questions about the Fed. Going beyond the simple decision of whether to raise interest rates, they focus on a deeper set of questions, including, among others, How should the Fed make decisions? How should the Fed govern its internal decision-making processes? What is the trade-off between greater Fed power and less Fed independence? And how should Congress, from which the Fed ultimately receives its authority, oversee the Fed?

The contributors discuss, for instance, whether central banks can both follow rule-based policy in normal times but then take a discretionary, do-what-it-takes approach to stopping financial crises. They evaluate legislation, recently proposed in the U.S. House and Senate, that would require the Fed to describe its monetary policy rule and, if and when the Fed changed or deviated from its rule, explain the reasons. And they discuss to best ways to structure a committee—like the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets interest rates—to make good decisions, as well as offer historical reflections on the governance of the Fed and much more. They conclude with an important reminder: how important it is to have a “healthy separation between government officials who are in charge of spending and those who are in charge of printing money,” the most essential part of good governance.

John Taylor Outlines His New Book on Fed Oversight Reform

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John B. Taylor

John B. Taylor is the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He has served as the director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and was founding director of Stanford's Introductory Economics Center.

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John H. Cochrane

John H. Cochrane is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Before joining Hoover, he was a professor of finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Preface
John H. Cochrane and John B. Taylor

ONE
How Can Central Banks Deliver Credible Commitment and Be “Emergency Institutions”?
Paul Tucker
        Comments: John H. Cochrane
        General Discussion: Michael D. Bordo, John H. Cochrane, Peter Fisher, Robert Hodrick, Charles I. Plosser, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylor, Paul Tucker,
           Kevin M. Warsh

TWO
Policy Rule Legislation in Practice
David H. Papell, Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy and Ruxandra Prodan
        Comments: Michael Dotsey
        General Discussion: John H. Cochrane, Michael Dotsey, Peter Fisher, Andrew Levin, David H. Papell, Charle I. Plosser, John B. Taylor, Paul Tucker,
            Carl E. Walsh, John C. Williams

THREE
Goals versus Rules as Central Bank Performance Measures
Carl E. Walsh
        Comments: Andrew Levin
        General Discussion: John H. Cochrane, Michael Dotsey, David H. Papell, John B. Taylor, Carl E. Walsh, John C. Williams

FOUR
Institutional Design: Deliberations, Decisions, and Committee Dynamics
Kevin M. Warsh
        Comments: Peter Fisher
        General Discussion: Binyamin Appelbaum, Michael D. Bordo, John H. Cochrane, Michael Dotsey, Peter Fisher, Andrew Levin, Charles I. Plosser,
           George P. Shultz, Paul Tucker, Kevin M. Warsh, John C. Williams

FIVE
Some Historical Reflections on the Governance of the Federal Reserve
Michael D. Bordo
        Comments: Mary H. Karr
        General Discussion: Michael D. Bordo, John H. Cochrane, Peter Fisher, Mary H. Karr, Andrew Levin, Charles I. Plosser, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylor,
          Paul Tucker, Kevin M. Warsh, John C. Williams

SIX
Panel on Independence, Accountability, and Transparency in Central Bank Governance
Charles I. Plosser, George P. Shultz, and John C. Williams
        General Discussion: Michael J. Boskin, John H. Cochrane, Peter Fisher, Robert Hodrick, Andrew Levin, David Papell, Charles I. Plosser, John B. Taylor,
          Paul Tucker, Kevin M. Warsh, John C. Williams

Conference Agenda
About the Contributors
About the Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Economic Policy
Index



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