The great mandate debate: Jerry Tempelman column

The great mandate debate

Jerry Tempelman

In one of the last papers he wrote before passing away a little over four years ago, Milton Friedman stated unambiguously: “I believe that it is a mistake to treat the Fed as having two separate and independent objectives. The Fed exists to define a monetary system. In my opinion, it has one and only one function: to keep the price level steady.”

Friedman’s views on the so-called dual mandate under which the Fed currently operates were clear: he believed the twin objectives of price stability and

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