Courtesy Reuters

The financial crisis has seemingly battered the credibility of the U.S. Federal Reserve. But not according to Alan Blinder, the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. In September 2009, Blinder argued on that the Fed was still a model of sound decision-making. In fact, the real problem with the U.S. government, he wrote, is that it places "too many decisions in the political realm and too few in the technocratic one."

Blinder has made this argument before. In a 1997 tribute to the Federal Reserve in Foreign Affairs, Blinder offered what he called "a nasty little thought" -- that the country would be "better off if more public policy decisions were removed from the political thicket."

At the time, such a thought might have seemed like heresy. The crumbling of the Soviet bloc, the collapse of South Africa's apartheid regime, and the fall of

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