Paul Krugman thinks Bernanke has been assimilated

Ben Bernanke responds to my magazine piece; as I see it, in effect he declared that he has been assimilated by the Fed Borg:

But, I think it’s a bit different. He’s in a dream inside of dream, suffering from Monetary Inception.

I mean this only half-jokingly. The Fed’s policies will have effects on the real world. However, the Fed can never see the real world. It can’t see the past and it certainly can’t see the present. It only has a vague a haze about what reality might be.

In that situation, the constructed reality presented by the Fed staff is powerful. Its grounded. There is some sense that you know what you are doing. And, not only does this constructed reality shape what you think the situation is today, it shapes what you think the response to your actions has been. It shapes your interpretation of the causal nature of the world itself.

What Bernanke needs is a totem. An object to tell him that he is in a dream. That this isn’t real and on the outside there are real people. This is what screaming into the economic blogosphere and economic journalism world does.

Its an echo that they can faintly hear inside the Eccles Building. Tyler Cowen and perhaps Greg Ip think we are being too hard on the Chairman, but when he is in a dream inside of a dream you have to scream loudly in hopes that he’ll hear a whisper.