On the con side, Krugman states:
- The Fed did not recognize the Greenspan-Bernanke housing bubble;
- Bernanke has failed to admit publicly that he blew it on the subprime mortgages;
- He failed to support the creation of a Consumer Protection Agency (and old Ralph Nader demand in which a government agency full of activists who hate private enterprise will decide pretty much everything economic);
- He is not aggressively pushing policies that will quickly bring down inflation and create millions of new jobs;
- He thinks too much like a banker.
- While there are good Keynesian replacements, a confirmation battle would be bruising, so it is better to go with the safe choice;
- Bernanke has engaged in "unorthodox" but necessary actions to "save the economy from depression;
- Another appointee might listen to the "inflation hawks" (people who think inflation is bad), which would make things even worse.
As much as anything, Krugman's words today expose the Keynesian mentality as well as anything I have read. To a Keynesian, there is the Eternal Struggle Between Inflation and Unemployment because, after all, a market economy is prone to internal destruction because ultimately, consumers cannot spend enough money on their own to keep the economic perpetual motion machine running.
In this view, all assets, factors of production, and capital are homogeneous entities that pretty much respond equally to new money being thrown into the pot. New money, or should I say, newly-created (printed) money always greases the wheels of the machinery and leads to more economic activity, and more activity will lower unemployment.
As you know, I have a totally different view of things, and from the Austrian perspective, inflation does not grease the wheels of commerce over time, but rather destroys them, because assets and the like are NOT homogeneous. They are heterogeneous, and their values reflect the valuation that consumers give them through their own choices.
Lest anyone think that "aggressive" policies of money creation will bring back an economy, read this superb piece by Doug French, given in Houston last Saturday in which he takes a look at the experience in Japan. (The Japanese central bank followed Krugman's advice, so if you want to see Krugmanism in action, read Doug's account.)
As for me, I don't want to see Bernanke reappointed. I want to see the Fed closed down. Get rid of this engine of inflation and economic destruction. Now.