The opinion and framing slips into the article even beyond the adjectives and adverbs, however. The article begins, “The federal government helped bring the economic recovery to a virtual halt late last year as cuts in military spending and other factors overwhelmed the Federal Reserve’s expanded campaign to stimulate growth.”
That assumes that what the Federal Reserve has been doing has been expansionary. But that’s an opinion, not a fact. There are economists out there who disagree, like David Malpass, a former Reagan administration Treasury official, who wrote earlier this week to Encima Global clients: “We think Fed policy is contractionary because the Fed is manipulating the price of credit, causing a departure from market-based capital allocation. The result is a credit rationing process that channels credit to the government and bigger corporations at the expense of small business job creators and the weak formation of new businesses.”
John Taylor, a Stanford University economics professor and former Treasury official, had an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this week making a somewhat similar argument. It ran under the headline “John Taylor: Fed Policy Is a Drag on the Economy.”
I’m not saying Mr. Malpass and Mr. Taylor are necessarily correct. But it’s a disputed issue, and the Times news article would give a more complete picture if it acknowledged the dispute rather than just ignoring it by taking the Fed’s side.