Friday, January 14, 2011

Fed Jokes

From a Fed Meeting in 2005*

That mixed message reminded me of a story told by Nobel laureate Ken Arrow. During World War II, Arrow was assigned to a team of statisticians to produce long-range weather forecasts. After a time, Arrow and his team determined that their forecasts were not much better than pulling predictions out of a hat. They wrote their superiors, asking to be relieved of the duty. They received the following reply, and I quote “The Commanding General is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”

MR. FISHER. I’m reminded of a story that George Shultz told me about his time working under President Reagan, who was very frustrated about spending. George picked up the phone and called I think it was Sam Cohen and said, “Tell me, Sam, is there really any difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to spending?” And Cohen said, “I want to think about it, do some research, and give you a serious answer.” He called back the next morning and said, “Yes, George, there is. Democrats enjoy it more.” [Laughter] “But otherwise there doesn’t appear to be any difference.”


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