A retired university professor, a veteran central bank watcher, the former head of a Federal Home Loan Bank, and a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board all get together for lunch to talk about money, with an appellate court judge serving as referee.  Would you not wish to be a fly on the wall of that room?

You can be.  You are invited.  This discussion will take place at the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention (admission to the bar not required for admission to the event).  The discussion topic is “Money and the Constitution.”  The eminent, experienced, and knowledgeable panelists are Richard Sylla (formerly of NYU’s Stern business school), Paul Sheard (a former S&P chief economist), Alex Pollock (one-time President of the Chicago FHLB), and Don Kohn (not long ago Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board).  Appeals Court Judge Paul Matey (third circuit) will keep order.

The topic, as old as the Republic and powerfully relevant today, will be explored from a variety of angles.  Who gets to decide today what is money, and how much of it there is, available at what rates?  To whom are these people accountable, and in what way?

Presented in sharper points, how did the Fed get any say about money in America, how independent should the Fed be in its monetary policies, and how is that working?  What is the relationship between monetary and fiscal policies?  What was the controversy about money at the time of the nation’s founding, is that controversy settled today, or does it still rage?  What have the few words about money in the Constitution meant in practice, including today’s practice?  What do these questions mean for evolving new forms of money?

I offer no answers here, but I do have opinions, as surely you do as well, as do these panelists.  You are invited to come and hear.  Bring along a question for the panel.


This panel will also be live streamed on the Federalist Society website.