A new era in Federal Reserve communication dawned Thursday when a senior U.S. central banker took off his gloves and slammed a former official on twitter.
At issue was an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday written by former Fed governor Kevin Warsh.
Warsh wrote that the conduct of U.S. monetary policy “has been deeply flawed” and warned against the central bank raising the 2% inflation target to a higher target of 3% or 4%, as has been suggested by San Francisco Fed President John Williams among others. “Its models are unreliable, its policies erratic and its guidance confusing,” read the headline.
Typically, Fed officials have turned the other cheek to criticism.
Even Thursday morning when asked about the op-ed, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan said he “thinks highly” of Warsh and then ducked the question by calling for better fiscal and regulatory policy out of Washington.
Also read: Fed’s new Facebook ‘friends’ slam central bank for ‘monetary enslavement and currency destruction’
But Minneapolis Fed President Neil Kashkari, who is more engaged on social media than other colleagues, didn’t back down.
In a post on Twitter, Kashkari noted that Warsh had voted for the Fed’s three quantitative easing programs.
“Kevin, confusing and erratic is voting for QE and then criticizing it,” Kashkari wrote.
Kevin, confusing and erratic is voting for QE and then criticizing it. “Fed Needs New Thinking” https://t.co/S3pMMB3wVW
— Neel Kashkari (@neelkashkari) August 25, 2016
Kashkari’s tweet was mainly panned on twitter.
@neelkashkari If one sees their earlier decision as flawed, that’s not confusing and erratic. It’s intellectually honest and courageous.
— ValueTrap (@Valuetrap13) August 25, 2016
@neelkashkari Confusing is hiking, pausing, talking hikes and cuts, all while carrying a $4+T balance sheet into a 1% first half GDP Eco
— DMW (@dmwlsw) August 25, 2016