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Deliberating American Monetary PolicyA Textual Analysis$
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Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019576

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019576.001.0001

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In Their Own Words—Perspectives from the FOMC and Congressional Banking Committees

In Their Own Words—Perspectives from the FOMC and Congressional Banking Committees

(p.361) 5 In Their Own Words—Perspectives from the FOMC and Congressional Banking Committees
Deliberating American Monetary Policy

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

Andrew Bailey

The MIT Press

This chapter uses interviews with participants from both the FOMC and congressional banking committees to provide context and understanding of the motivations of central bankers and politicians as they discuss monetary policy. Among the many findings is that deliberation can adjust and alter the preferences of individual FOMC members, though this usually occurs over a series of meetings rather than within the space of a single meeting. With regard to congressional oversight of monetary policy, Congress is perceived to be constrained by specific institutional features—particularly, (1) the electoral incentives of members (which limit their ability and time to learn from deliberation), (2) the lack of technical expertise in monetary policy, (3) the extreme transparency of the oversight hearings, and (4) the large membership size of the House and Senate banking committees. In short, the finding is that Congress as an institution for holding monetary policy makers to account is limited at best.

Keywords:   Congressional oversight, Electoral incentives, Transparency, Accountability, Monetary Policy

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