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Class Year

2015

Abstract

This paper was written in early December 2014 in response to the Federal Reserve Challenge Team’s argument for a regime change in the Federal Reserve to nominal GDP targeting as the appropriate policy to return the U.S. economy to long-term sustainable economic growth. After the 2007 recession, the FOMC took extraordinary measures to minimize the collateral damage caused by bank balance sheets weighed down with mortgage-backed securities and other below-investment grade assets. The periodic “stress tests” and use of emergency lending facilities were historically unprecedented, however, the economy six years later was still growing slowly in part due to market uncertainty with FOMC forward guidance policy. This paper argues that the Fed is justified in using a policy that risks short-term rapid inflation in order to meet the “dual mandate” of full employment and price stability, and to prevent cyclical unemployment in the economy from deteriorating into structural unemployment.

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