link to puppy video below
September 11, 2015

Everybody is too busy watching puppy videos to care about macroeconomics anymore! So despairs a paper published for a Brookings Institution conference with the engrossing title, "Inflation targeting does not anchor inflation expectations: Evidence from firms in New Zealand."

The paper studies many probably very interesting topics like "inflation expectations in New Zealand," but it only caught our attention once it broke out this bizarre factoid: The U.S. public has basically no knowledge of monetary policy and they spend all their time Googling "puppies." Proof:

Americans have great difficulty in identifying the chair of the Federal Reserve System and are generally unable to identify recent inflation dynamics with any degree of precision. When asked about inflation over 10 years, few are willing to confidently predict low levels of inflation, a finding that speaks either to low credibility of the Federal Reserve or, more likely, to the fact that most people don't know what reasonable ranges of inflation rates are. Nor do they seem to show much interest in learning about monetary policy. Twitter and Facebook followers of the entire Federal Reserve System are outnumbered by followers of the FBI and the CIA, and barely outnumber the followers of Ron Paul or Rand Paul. Paul Krugman single-handedly has almost twice as many Twitter followers as the entire Fed system. Google searches confirm this paucity of interest: online searches for macroeconomic variables like GDP, unemployment rate, and inflation are consistently topped altogether by online searches for puppies. [Bookings, via Aurelija Augulyte]

In all fairness to the American public, this video is definitely more satisfying than the Federal Reserve's Twitter account. Jeva Lange

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