While they surely mean well, "Market Monetarists" like David Beckworth and Ramesh Ponnuru ascribe to the Federal Reserve an ability to centrally plan money supply which is no different from the Soviet era conceit that governments could plan production. And that's exactly what the economist and pundit are calling for, a planning of production. Their commentary is very explicit that specific rates of money growth from the Fed will lead to specific GDP outcomes.He continues:
Where there's production, there's always money to facilitate the exchange of what's produced.If only the latter assertion were actually true. Just one of the unfortunate results of a slow but steady monetary tightening, is the decline in brick and mortar retail. Despite the recent prevalence of online shopping, this retail "substitute" only represents a portion of brick and mortar losses.
And so far as "planning" goes, no market monetarist predicts - nor would they want to - that a level target would lead to "specific" GDP outcomes. A level target rule would be put into place, to encourage free markets to the greatest extent possible. If anything, a level target could be thought of as the most obvious means by which to protect production which already exists.
Tamny's interventionist argument, while leveled at market monetarists, is also reflective of further interventionist arguments against the Fed itself. Nevertheless, the role of the Fed is complex, in that the use of fiat monetary representation is essentially quite new. Presently, a level target could help to smooth the process by which which the dynamics of tradable and non tradable sector activity interact with each another. Services generation has meant substantial changes to the real economy, as both fiscal and credit based relationships have become more complex.
Nevertheless, those who attack the Fed more directly, also have issues with the fact that both governmental and financial intentions for Fed policy are by no means benign. Money is vital as an institutional path, and its marketplace role needs to be more broadly understood, so as not to be continually hijacked by competing interests.
To the degree a central bank may be thought of as interventionist, also depends on how policy makers approach monetary representation. Why, for instance, do some policy makers downplay the role of money, in an institution purportedly created to provide monetary representation for a nation's citizens?
There are three competing factions within the same institution that are attributed to interventionist intentions: monetary representation, government (fiscal) activity, and financial activity. Yet the market monetarist goal, which is a further adaptation of earlier monetarist roles, is to promote economic stability. This monetary "well being" for the greatest number possible, by forming an accurate representation of all economic components, is different from the fiscal and financial activities which are always partial income claims on a given set of equilibrium conditions. Interest rates in particular, tell stories about those claims. The Fed may be complicit in such claims to the degree that it chooses to give priority to governments and/'or financial interests, for whatever reason. Of course when central bankers do so, the result can be lost monetary equivalence for society as a whole.
Fortunately, many have moved past the simplistic rhetoric of individuals such as John Tamny, but the arguments he employs can still be misleading. In short, it helps to consider context. Some groups may consider a level nominal target to be "interventionist", should it appear to prevent further spending for the preferred programs of one's constituency. Likewise, a level target might frustrate the preferences of financial interests in terms of central bank actions. When it comes to charges of interventionism, context matters.