The Federal Reserve building is seen January 22, 2008 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
By Alan Murray and David Meyer
April 8, 2019

Good morning.

I will leave it to others to debate whether Herman Cain and Stephen Moore are the best-qualified people to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. But there is little reason to think their appointment will lead to dangerous politicization of the Fed, or to irresponsible economic policy.

We’ve been here before. I covered the Fed for the Wall Street Journal in 1985, when Ronald Reagan appointed two governors—Manuel Johnson and Wayne Angell—with the explicit intention of challenging the power of Fed Chairman Volcker. And the two did just that, successfully pushing a plan to reduce the bank’s discount rate. But in the end, they didn’t seriously compromise monetary policy. The most important monetary policy decisions are made by the Fed’s Open Market Committee, which includes a dozen people. And any group pursuing a blatantly political agenda is likely to prompt the others to coalesce against them.

The broader lesson here is this: American institutions have proven remarkably resilient in resisting a president whose modus operandi is to undermine anything that he sees as a threat—be it the intelligence agencies, the FBI, the courts, the Justice Department, or the press. The Federal Reserve will be no exception.

Separately, Ray Dalio took to 60 Minutes last night to express his view that capitalism faces a crisis. “Capitalism needs to be reformed. It doesn’t need to be abandoned,” he said. “I don’t think it is sustainable. We are at a juncture. We can do it together, or we can do it in conflict…conflict between rich and poor.”

Dalio said odds are 60-40 that “it will be done in a bad way.” But he is working to improve those odds. He posted a fuller explanation of his views on reforming capitalism on his website last week; you can read it here.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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