In Response to: An economic life

PAW twice refers to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s $600 billion “quantitative easing” initiative as “printing new money.” This is not what is being done, and it is destructively misleading to label it as such.  

This journalistic misnomer has had the unfortunate consequence of being seized upon by strenuous vocal opponents of Fed policies including untutored, disingenuous, and posturing legislators who cry “inflationary” to feed the flames of a more stringent monetary policy. With the haunting specter of severe unemployment, innocent underwater homeowners facing unjustified mortgage foreclosures, and untamed casino money-center banks fighting the whip of regulation, journalists must be extremely careful of words they use as we stand on the teetering edge of a double-dip recession. Trying to avoid the quicksand of deflation, not inflation concerns, should be the No. 1 priority — or we could be staring at 1938 again.  

Unemployment is the severe economic problem, not the current size of the deficit, as many Republicans maintain falsely. Keynes was right; we must listen to him. Responsible journalists must not throw around carelessly the Fed’s recent move as printing money. Its implication is counterproductive. More exacting care is expected from articles about economics in PAW.

Laurence C. Day ’55