I was one of the contributors to this. Whenever you do something like this, by the time the editing process is done, the tone of the finished piece has strayed a little bit from the original draft. So let me reiterate here, I am way more introspective about what happened than Peter Schiff seems to be, though it’s true I am not falling on my knees at Krugman’s feet the way Brad DeLong suggested.
Anyway some excerpts from my piece:
It’s true that consumer prices did not zoom up as I had predicted, but my objection to the Fed’s post-crisis policies was never dependent on that specific forecast. Indeed, the distinctive feature of Austrian business cycle theory is that “easy money” causes the familiar boom-bust cycle by affecting relative prices. Regardless of the purchasing power of the dollar, the Fed’s actions have definitely interfered with interest rates, hindering the communication of information about the condition of the credit markets. By postponing needed readjustments in the structure of production, the Fed’s actions have allowed the problems apparent in the fall of 2008 to fester.
I am still confident that a day of price inflation reckoning looms and that the U.S. dollar’s days as the world’s reserve currency are numbered, though I have no way of gauging the duration of this calm before the storm. Still, my 2009 predictions about consumer price inflation were wrong, and it’s useful to analyze why.
…In 2009 I thought more and more investors would begin to anticipate this process, anticipating that the money supply held by the public eventually would start to soar, so that large-scale price inflation would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But the U.S. economy has stayed in this holding pattern, where people expect low consumer price inflation and so commercial banks keep their excess reserves earning 25 basis points parked at the Fed rather than make new loans. Thus the process I described above has been thwarted; the quantity of money held by the public right now is much lower than it would be, if the banks decided they would rather make loans and earn a higher interest rate than the 25 basis points currently paid by the Fed.
In the Austrian view, therefore, consumer prices are not a reliable gauge of the “looseness” or “tightness” of monetary policy. Irving Fisher infamously thought the Fed in the 1920s had done a good job because the CPI had been tame, whereas Mises knew that a crash was brewing by the late 1920s.
Last thing, in the form of a request: Please do not just inform me, “Bob, you should have talked about such-and-such.” There are word limits on these things. If you’re going to tell me I should have talked about such-and-such, then tell me what paragraphs I should have taken out.