The Fed shouldn’t be politicized any more than it already is

Only two people would know how much of this story is correct, and both of them are dead.

But this much is known. On Dec. 5, 1965, the Federal Reserve chairman at the time, William McChesney Martin Jr., was summoned to President Lyndon Johnson’s Texas ranch for a chat.

Johnson was disturbed that Martin, who was a long-reigning head of the Fed, was thinking about raising interest rates. Martin was concerned that Johnson’s spending on the Vietnam War and new social programs, along with lower tax revenues because of a 1964 tax cut, were going to cause inflation.

The story goes that Johnson didn’t beat around the bush that he didn’t want interest rates to go up. The other part of the story — the part that nobody but those two probably witnessed firsthand — is that Johnson, despite recently undergoing gall bladder surgery, shoved Martin against a wall while


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