A loyal reader* suggested we launch a new feature: Ask Henry!
And so we have!
Instead of waiting around for a video-based You Ask, We Answer to come along, you are now hereby invited to bombard me with questions anytime via email.
Please put “ASK HENRY!” in the subject line (goofy, I know, but much easier to find in the inbox) and send them to:
I’ll do my best to answer as many questions as I can on the site every few days. I won’t be able to get to all of them, obviously, but I’ll do my best.
Thanks in advance. Look forward to hearing from you!
Here’s one to begin, from Jason Calacanis:
Henry, Ben Bernanke has presided over the worst financial crisis of our lifetime, and the second worst in our history. Since he has obviously failed epically, what exactly would he have to do in order to be fired in your estimation?
I’m not sure I agree that he “failed epically”–I think it’s fairer to say he ‘made some major mistakes’–but there would be one super-quick route to getting fired: Threaten the re-election campaigns of Congress-people. He can do this by stating clearly that unemployment is not his concern and that he is only focused on protecting the value of our money. If he does that, he’ll be fired immediately.
Of course the irony is that unemployment should NOT be his concern. The Fed has an impossible “dual mandate” right now–protect the value of the currency AND make sure the economy is humming along at full employment. Sometimes, these two mandates are mutually exclusive. And because Congress only cares about the latter (inflation is a long-term problem that will only wreck the economy during someone else’s re-election campaign), the Fed inevitably gets pressured into running at a higher level of inflation than it should.
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