US Treasury and the Fed: too close for comfort?
Some economists have reservations about recent moves to rescue the economy.
Economic historians must see the actions of today's Federal Reserve as strange.
"Very, very unusual," says Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics, an economic consulting firm. "Unprecedented … uncharted."
The nation's central bank has joined with the United States Treasury in a host of measures this year aimed at stopping the economic slump and financial crunch from plunging the economy into a depression. The Fed's bold activism is apparently based on the view of its chairman, Ben Bernanke, that the Great Depression was caused by a credit freeze – plus a determination not to let it happen again. At Princeton University, where he had taught for years, Mr. Bernanke's research centered on that economically desperate era of the 1930s.
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