What I’ve always argued for is requiring them to keep the quantity of money growing at a steady and relatively slow rate. Now, that’s — they’ve departed from that, and every single mistake has been connected with the departure from that. And almost always after — there are one or two occasions on which the departure was justified. But most of the time it has not been. And the problem is how do you get that rule in law and how do you make it accountable? How do you make it in the self-interest of the members of the board to follow the rule?
As I say, there are various other ways that have been suggested, but that’s the essential problem is to impose rules which will keep the quantity of money from either growing very rapidly or declining very rapidly. Either the one or the other is bad. If it grows too rapidly you have inflation. If it declines too rapidly you have Depression.
You’re not going to get rid of minor recessions. But even the present recession, in which we are in now as we talk, has unquestionably been made deeper than it need be because over the past four months the Federal Reserve has let the money supply grow at a very, very low rate, much too low of a rate, a lower rate. If the rate at which it’s been growing over the past four months were maintained indefinitely we would get not stable prices, but declining prices. And what we ought to aim for is a rate of growth for the money supply which gives you relatively stable prices.