In "Neither Hyperinflation Nor a Liquidity Trap" (page 37), Scott Sumner argues that critics have misinterpreted the Fed's response to the Great Recession. Sumner, who Foreign Policy once listed as one of its top 100 global thinkers, teaches economics at Bentley College and is the author of The Midas Paradox (Independent Institute), a forthcoming book on how gold affected the Depression. When it comes to the Fed, he says, "the biggest mistake people make is to assume that low interest rates mean easy money."
In "High Inflation Still Unlikely" (page 35), Contributing Editor David R. Henderson argues that the Fed is a problem but its recent actions aren't likely to cause high inflation. Henderson, 63, is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution, an economics professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, and the author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey (Prentice Hall). He says he'd like to see the Fed abolished. "The biggest benefit: less uncertainty and less government control over people's financial decisions."
In "The Calm Before the Storm" (page 34), Robert Murphy warns that today's monetary policy decisions will have bad consequences down the road. Murphy, 38, is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism (Regnery) and an economist at the Institute for Energy Research. In the years to come, he says, "the official narrative will be that Ben Bernanke rescued the United States from the second Great Depression by his aggressive interventions after the fall of 2008, but many critics will say he sowed the seeds of the next giant crash."
Peter Schiff is CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Real Crash: America's Coming Bankruptcy (St. Martin's). In "Where Is the Inflation?" (page 32), he points to signs of inflation that already exist in today's economy. Schiff, 51, is also the host of The Peter Schiff Show, an Internet radio program. "Ben Bernanke fancies himself as a student of the Great Depression," Schiff told Reason TV in 2012, but "if he were my student he would have gotten an F."