The Monetary Executive

56 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2022

See all articles by Christina Parajon Skinner

Christina Parajon Skinner

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: August 25, 2022

Abstract

As inflation in 2022 surges to a forty-year high, economists, lawmakers, and the public continue to question why. As part of that inquiry, experts and onlookers seek explanations grounded in errors recently made by the central bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve. This Article argues that, while there is no doubt a host of contributing factors to the current bout of inflation, the President’s role remains comparatively understudied. In particular, the Article adds a new dimension to the growing literature on the fiscal foundations of inflation by studying its longstanding statutory roots, which can be traced back to the New Deal Era. Although the Framers of the Constitution were deliberate in vesting power over money and spending with Congress, and separating it from the President, in time, Congress eroded this separation with successive ad hoc delegations directly to the Executive. As a consequence, today, the President has far more influence over money in the economy—and levers for “fiscal dominance”—than the Constitution arguably allows, casting a long shadow over the Federal Reserve’s ability to properly rein in inflation. The Article traces the development of a “Monetary Executive” through the lens of statutory delegations, and suggests the need for new constraints on Fed policy tools to help buffer against pressure from the President to increase the money supply.

Keywords: constitutional law, separation-of-powers, non-delegation doctrine, monetary policy, Federal Reserve, presidential authority

JEL Classification: K23, K20, N20, P44, E65

Suggested Citation

Skinner, Christina Parajon, The Monetary Executive (August 25, 2022). George Washington Law Review, Vol. 91, 2023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4200433

Christina Parajon Skinner (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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