Ben Bernake cares more about Kazakhstan than New York
There is an interesting read buried on page 4 of today’s Wall Street Journal. The Fed will hold its annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming shortly, but most fed governors, including those from New York, Dallas, San Francisco and Celeveland won’t be there. The problem is that the conference center in Jackson Hole only seats 100, and there are new attendees this year from such critical world economies as Albania, Kazakhstan and Lebanon. So the Fed had to make “difficult decisions” about who got left behind (in addition to American taxpayers, that is).
Purpose of the meeting is to discuss “big issues in the economy, and policy”.
Heaven forbid that conference planners could have been inconvenienced to find a larger facility.
One wonders what insights about market capitalism the head of the Kazak banking system will have. But then I guess this is getting a bit nativist! After all Kazakhstan, in addition to being exceptionally kind to Mr. Borat-
* Ranks #107 on the list of corrupt countries according to Transparancy International. It’s right between Vietnam and Belarus.
* Has per capita GDP of $1,322, which compares favorably really to the US # of $33,000 per capita, all things considered.
* Has never had a free election, according to the ODIHR.
What they do have is money to buy Treasuries, an interesting location, and lots of oil. I guess that makes them perfectly suitable to determine Fed policy.
In all seriousness, this tone deafness of the Fed- or maybe just in-your-face arrogance- merely adds to the disenchantment of Americans with our leaders. Is it too much to ask for our leaders to consider America first?