Panel Session II remarks: Lessons from History
This chapter presents remarks by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, who discusses lessons for central banks after experiences such as the Great Inflation. First, price stability is an important long-run objective, and second, inflationary expectations are important for the control of inflation. The third lesson is the importance of vigorous debate inside central banks as well as the input by outside experts to safeguard against serious policy errors. In addition, once inflation becomes embedded in inflationary expectations, to avoid high economic and social costs, central bankers should go to great lengths to diffuse them. Finally, Kohn suggests that central banks should be humble about what they know.
At the time of these remarks I was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and had no other source of funding for my research.
Currently I am a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, external member of the Financial Policy Committee at the Bank of England, and Senior Economic Strategist for the Potomac Research Group.