Full text: Referendum on the report of the Special Federal Reserve Committee

Inforaptien To insure the desirable type of criticism, it is essential that the 
Troggs Srivisten public be provided with ample information relative to the activities 
Policies of the reserve banks. The amount of valuable credit information, 
statistical and otherwise, supplied by the federal reserve system is 
far beyond that furnished by foreign central banks. For this accom- 
plishment, the reserve administration is to be commended. But in 
providing the country with official or semi-official explanations of 
the basic purposes of major policies, much yet remains to be done. 
The scheme of twelve regional banks and the division of respon- 
sibility between the Federal Reserve Board and the district officials 
increases the difficulty of supplying the public with the desired inter- 
pretations of reserve policies. It is to be recognized that various 
officials may support the same measure from different points of view 
and that to secure agreement upon the factors to be emphasized may 
create discord within the system. The further fact that a certain 
measure might accomplish one useful purpose, but not precisely that 
originally avowed. must also serve to retard explanation. 
Possibilities if 
Difficulties Not 
But despite the difficulties attendant upon complete statements 
of intent, no secretive policy will succeed in securing approval for 
the reposal in the reserve administration of a large degree of dis- 
cretionary power. An ill-informed public will demand precise statu- 
tory limitations. Without ample knowledge, public criticism cannot 
be intelligent and beneficial. The more abundant the information 
and the sharper drawn the issues, the less fertile becomes the field in 
which charges of ulterior motives can be sown. When ignorance 
abounds, the arena belongs to the careless. the radical. and the irre- 
With general discussion of reserve problems lifted to a higher 
plane, ill-advised critics will find it more difficult to secure an 
audience of intelligent men. Neither should there be too great appre- 
hension regarding the inevitability of frequent reversals of policy. 
Thoughtful men understand the imponderable character of most 
credit problems and they will not demand that there be complete 
-onsistency between the views of different reserve officials as enun- 
ciated on various occasions. 
of Policy 
The Additional 
The explanations and interpretations advanced in the Federal 
Reserve Bulletin, the annual reports of the Federal Reserve Board, 
and by various reserve officials in Congressional hearings, have been 
highly serviceable and beneficial. What appears to be required fur- 
ther is that on irregular occasions of important decisions, men who 
occupy prominent administrative positions in the system should seek 
to clarify their motives. By this it is not meant that there should be 
a newspaper release on every action. But in some recognized way, 
[Continued on tage SN

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