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Fed watchers seem to have a blind spot

May 30, 2013 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Financial Times (May 29, 2013) From Mr Kai L. Chan. Sir, In the game of forecasting the next chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Edward Luce and the usual Fed watchers are overlooking one obvious choice: Alan Blinder (“Summers has an edge in the race to head the Fed”, May 27). Professor Blinder is one of the world’s foremost monetary economists, with academic credentials remarkably similar to Ben Bernanke – both earned their PhD (economics) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became tenured professors at Princeton University. In terms of practical experience, Prof Blinder was vice-chairman at the Fed from 1994 to 1996; and at age 67 he is also younger than Donald Kohn. As a regular contributor in the media to the policy discussions surrounding central banking, it is surprising that his name has not been mentioned more often. Kai L. Chan, Dubai, UAE Letter as it appeared in the FT Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013.

I’d rather have the comfort of a chocolate bar in the nuclear winter

January 21, 2008 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Financial Times (21 January 2008) I'd rather have the comfort of a chocolate bar in the nuclear winter Published: January 21 2008 02:00 | Last updated: January 21 2008 02:00 From Mr Kai L. Chan. Sir, The argument Chris Kniel sets forth (Letters, January 17) as to the intrinsic value of bullion-backed currency falls into a common fallacy that blinds gold bugs. The current system of fiat money does display inflationary bias, so no disagreement on that point.  However, to believe that gold has special value is pushing the argument. Gold-backed currency has less inflationary bias only insomuch as the supply of gold is limited and has a real cost of production (ie extraction).  If money were backed by salt, water, sand or whatever commodity one desires, it would have the same anti-inflationary effect.  The only special qualities for gold are its relative scarcity and high cost of extraction.  In that case, uranium would probably serve as an even better storage of value and be less prone to debasement, a common flaw of gold coinage. Personally, I'd still rather have my currency backed by chocolate bars.  In the case of a worldwide catastrophe – such as a…




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