Laurence Ball, 28 February 2012

What explains Bernanke’s caution as Fed chair? This column argues that one possible factor is ‘groupthink’, where individuals go along with what they perceive as the majority view. Many of the Fed’s features – its tradition of decision-making by consensus, limited interaction with outsiders, and atmosphere of camaraderie – encourage groupthink. And Bernanke’s personality, often described as modest and unassuming, may have reinforced the effects of groupthink.

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