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The trap of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate

Money printingGeorge F. Will
11/18/2010

In 1977 Congress gave the Federal Reserve a “dual mandate” to “promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.” Given this mandate, the Fed has begun to print $60 billion, essentially creating another stimulus under the name of “quantitative easing.” Will points out that “maximizing employment” is a political role that has expanded to include staving off all the social ills that come with unemployment, from low self-esteem to violent crime. A repeal of the dual mandate is essential to prevent the Fed from becoming ruinously intertwined with politics.

Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy.

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