Still a lot of fawning coverage, but big dissenters are now given prominent spots, and loaded questions are used to politely hammer Powell into telling obvious nonsense.
This is an interesting turn of events, in a world of Fed-fawning mainstream media. In one version, the push-back takes the form of loaded questions about asset bubbles and wealth inequality caused by the Fed’s asset purchases.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell then answers, following what looks like a script because these loaded questions are now being thrown at him regularly. He admits that the Fed’s policies have increased asset prices, then says the Fed as a matter of policy doesn’t comment on asset prices, and hence cannot comment on asset bubbles, but then assiduously denies that this increased wealth of the asset holders, which he admits the Fed has engineered, widened the wealth inequality to the majority of Americans who hold no or nearly no assets, and who got shafted by the Fed. It’s like getting pushed on live TV into saying that, yes, indeed, two plus two equals three!
This happened many times, most notably during the July 29 FOMC press conference when a Bloomberg reporter pushed Powell on that (transcript of my podcast on the Fed’s role in wealth inequality); and during the interview with NPR which aired on September 4, when he was pushed on both, asset bubbles and wealth inequality.
In another version, the push-back in the mainstream media takes more accusatory forms expressed with exasperation and dotted with exclamation marks.
In early August, notable push-backers were former president of the New York Fed William Dudley and Bloomberg News which carried and promoted his editorial.
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