Does the U.S. need a strong dollar policy?
The Kaufman Center played host to a debate on monetary policy Wednesday night. Officially the resolution under consideration was "America Doesn't Need a Strong Dollar Policy"—although what it really ended up being about was the wisdom of the gold standard.
The sponsor of the Wednesday night's debate was an outfit called Intelligence Squared U.S., which turns these things into podcasts, and public radio and television broadcasts.
On the floating rate, anti-gold standard side were Frederic Mishkin, professor of banking and financial institutions at Columbia Business School, and John Taylor, chairman and founder of FX Concepts. Steven Forbes and James Grant, editor and founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, argued for international fixed rates and a gold standard.
The audience was clearly more persuaded by Mishkin and Taylor. At the start of the debate, an electronic poll measured the audience as being 24 percent for floating rates, 29 percent against and 47 percent undecided. After the debate, a substantial portion of the audience had been won over to the anti-gold standard side, so that 54 percent of the audience was for Miskin-Taylor, 37 percent for Forbes-Grant and just 9 percent undecided.