Looking back, I would label Bernanke as a cyclical dove. His dovish nature about policy developed after a career of studying the Great Depression and what went wrong. He concluded that the main policy mistake was to remove stimulus too soon. The thrust of policy under Bernanke was to make policy stimulative and to keep it stimulative for a long time — beyond normal tolerance.
This is not an ideology but a policy formed after many hours of academic study. Even after substantial investigative efforts by reporters while Bernanke was chairman, no one was able to pin down Bernanke’s political proclivities. He simply wasn’t an ideologue.
In contrast, Yellen is a Democrat. Democrats believe in the inefficiency of economic systems and in the rightful role of government intervention. I think of Yellen as a structural dove. She and Bernanke were on the same page because of the state of the economy. As we go further down the road and as we put more distance between ourselves and the financial crisis, it is likely that the policy will fork in the road will come and that Yellen will go one way and that Bernanke would have gone the other.
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