Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School
Con to the question "Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?"
"I'm not a big fan of the gold standard...
[W]hen we actually look at the technology of actually producing stable inflation, the idea that in fact we should go back to the horse and buggy and go back to the gold standard, I think doesn’t fly...
[T]he variability of inflation was much higher during the gold standard period than we have now. Now what did happen in that period, and one of the problems here was, that you [were] actually very much affected by acts of God.
So indeed we actually had a deflationary period... from 1880 to about 1896, because they couldn’t find any gold. Then we had the Klondike and South Africa and actually there was inflation, because there were huge amounts of gold found in the ground...
During the gold standard, the price level went up, went down. Now you are right, that over very long rises, over a 40 year period, there was no change in price level. That’s the good news. The bad news is, that horizons are not 40 years. As Keynes said, in the long run, we’re all dead...
During the gold standard era... [w]e had financial crises about every 10 to 20 years...
[T]he period of the classical gold standard… was not a period of high growth.”
Intelligence Squared debate "America Doesn’t Need a Strong Dollar Policy," www.intelligencesquaredus.org, Mar. 13, 2012
Experts Individuals with PhDs, heads of government, members of federal legislative bodies, and individuals with graduate degrees and significant post-graduate involvement in fields relevant to the study of economics [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, 1999-present
Member, Conference on Income and Wealth, 1984-present
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1980-present
Member, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System, 2006-2008
Visiting Research Fellow, The World Bank, Sep. 2000-May 2001
Chairman, External Evaluation Committee for Research Activities, International Monetary Fund, Jan. 1999-July 1999
Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 1994-1997
Visiting Scholar, Division of International Finance, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 1993
Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Princeton University, 1990-1991
Professor, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, 1983-1991
Visiting Associate Professor, Northwestern University, 1982-1983
Associate Professor, University of Chicago, 1981-1983
Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, 1976-1981
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1979-1980
Panel Member, Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, 1977-1978
Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1977
Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974-1976
PhD, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976
BA, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973