When I wrote my earlier post on Bernanke’s reconfirmation I was wondering what Sumner thinks. I didn’t have time to dig back through his posts to see if he already touched it (I don’t read them all). But before I got around to it he posted this:
As you know, I am not a fan of Brad DeLong’s old-style Keynesianism. But I have to give him grudging credit for this post, which is the best analysis of the Bernanke debate that I have read. You can see how DeLong’s comparative advantage lies in economic history rather than pure theory–he is very good at weighing and analyzing a complex set of political and economic factors.
And that’s why I am focusing on my comparative advantage—getting people to think about monetary issues from a different perspective. People know what I think the Fed should do, I’ll let those with better political instincts than me determine the best way to get there.
So, Sumner seems to defer to DeLong on Bernanke. And his reason is sound. He doesn’t have a comparative advantage in the areas necessary to address the reconfirmation question. Well I don’t either, not by a long shot. (What a joke it would be for me to even pretend.) So, in DeLong I will trust. I’ll stick my neck out on issues I know well. This is not one of them.
Later: Kevin Drum is willing to stick his neck out on Bernanke. As usual he brings some important political context to the conversation. And, again as usual, it is more nuanced than you’ll see just about anywhere else.