Monday, May 16, 2016

Macro Musings Podcast: Ramesh Ponnuru

My latest Macro Musings podcast is with Ramesh Ponnuru. Ramesh is a National Review senior editor, Bloomberg view columnist, and a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Ramesh has written widely on many topics from health care reform to tax policy to national security and is considered by many to be one of leading conservative intellectuals of our time. He has also written extensively on monetary policy. 

Ramesh writes regularly on monetary issues for the National Review and Bloomberg View as well in other outlets like the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. He has been a forceful advocate in the conservative movement for taking a more nuanced yet rules-based approach toward monetary policy. Among other things, he called for the Fed to adopt a Nominal GDP level target, has questioned those who claim the Fed has kept interest rates artificially low, and has pushed back against those wanting a return to the gold standard. 

On a personal note, Ramesh has been a frequent coauthor of mine and was a key force behind me writing for a wider audience. So it was a real treat for me to sit down with him and do this podcast. 

You can listen to the podcast via iTunes or Sound Cloud, or through the embedded player. And remember to subscribe since more guest are coming! 

Related Links:
Fallible Fed Needs a Few Good Rules--Ramesh Ponnuru
Fed Should Target Spending, Not Inflation--Ramesh Ponnuru
Saver's Real Problem--Ramesh Ponnuru and David Beckworth
The Right Goal for Central Banks--Ramesh Ponnuru and David Beckworth
Tight Budgets, Loose Money: Why Both Liberals and Conservatives Are Wrong About How to Fix the Economy--Ramesh Ponnuru and David Beckworth
Krugman's Fatal Conceit--Ramesh Ponnuru
Stagnant Economics: the Case Against Secular Stagnation--Ramesh Ponnuru and David Beckworth


  1. I wonder if you could get Lord Adair Turner for a podcast. He has fascinating viewpoints on helicopter drops and the role of banks in monetary policy.

  2. This was a great overview - I'd recommend that new listeners who aren't that familiar with the basic ideas of market monetarism start here.

    I wanted to comment about one subject that came up - support for NGDP targeting on the left. I cannot necessarily speak for all of my comrades, but I don't see NGDPLT as a political issue. (Like any other issue, it would get rapidly *politicized* if one side advocated for it, but it is not innately political the way, say, marginal tax rates are or the minimum wage is).

    One of the main benefits of NGDPLT is moderation of the business cycle. And the primary beneficiaries of that are not those at the top of the income scale but rather those who depend on their jobs to pay their bills. I realize there are studies that claim that the great recession *reduced* inequality due to the great financial losses experienced by those on the top, but I personally think that's absurd. The people who rely on their paychecks to pay the bills are the ones who are at greatest risk in a recession. It doesn't take a lot of time out of work for many people to burn through their reserves. I think that a monetary regime that is conducive to full employment is one of the very the best things that can be done for people who work for their living.

    I would tend to agree that some on the left who support NGDP targeting do so because, at the moment, it would call for a more dovish policy. I personally do not think there is much to be gained by always being dovish. Did anyone really benefit from the inflation of the 70s? I wouldn't favor a return to that.

    It might be worth having a more left wing guest on your podcast at some point - Matt Yglesias would be a good choice, he understands the concept of NGDP targeting.