Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 03, 2023.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s pledge to reform the Fed have provoked mixed responses online.
Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman hit out at the “tech bro” in a series of posts on X this weekend.
Ramaswamy may be “under the delusion” of having deep insights into monetary economics, wrote Krugman.
Entrepreneur and Republican primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s views on economic policy are dividing opinion across the spectrum.
The 38-year old investor-turned-politician, who aims to become the first Indian-American president, has so far modeled his approach to economic policy on predecessor Donald Trump.
His latest idea is to shake up the Federal Reserve – the institution which he believes is responsible for choking wage growth by increasing interest rates.
Ramaswamy has consistently been a vocal critic of the Fed’s size and scope. In a campaign speech on August 14, he pledged to ‘put the beast back in its cage’ with a series of drastic reforms.
“I will reduce headcount at the U.S. Federal Reserve by >90% and limit its scope to doing exactly *one* thing: stabilize the dollar as a stable unit of measurement,” he wrote in the corresponding tweet.
And in the speech, he instead pledged to peg the US dollar “against gold, silver, nickel, agriculture, and farm commodities.”
Threatening to fire most of the Fed’s workforce has not gone down too well with some, however.
In response, Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman took aim at the Republican candidate, mocking Ramaswamy’s understanding of economics.
“He probably believes that he knows what he’s talking about,” Krugman remarked on Sunday.
“Rich men in general, and tech bros in particular, are often under the delusion that they have deep insights into monetary economics, usually coming from what they vaguely remember from Atlas Shrugged.”
Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 dystopian novel by Ayn Rand which imagines a US in which private enterprise is strangled by massive bureaucracy and burdensome regulation. It’s a popular read among readers who like fiction infused with libertarianism.
In an earlier tweet, Krugman called Ramaswamy a “tech bro” and a “monetary crank”. “GOP primary voters have great judgement,” he wrote ironically.
Ramaswamy has so far centered his campaign around conservative and anti-woke policies, such as ending affirmative action. He attacked the Fed’s dual mandate for “trying to hit two targets with one arrow,” but as tech writer Timothy B. Lee pointed out in the intermediary tweet between Ramaswamy and Krugman, stabilizing the dollar to various commodities now equals “five targets”, not two.