Even for Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, who’s known for taking colorful shots at Congress, today’s speech at Stanford went a step further.
Lawmakers risking a recession because they can’t pass a budget are “parasitic wastrels,” Fisher said in a speech at his alma mater where he earned his MBA. Politicians, he said, should “begin acting like the responsible fiduciaries of the nation’s fiscal accounts they are supposed to be.”
Even Fed policy makers can’t avert “fiscal perdition” in the world’s largest economy because “there are limits to what a monetary authority can do,” Fisher told the audience grazing on Caesar salad, roasted vegetables, steak and chocolate chip cookies.
Fisher also has been a vocal critic of Fed policies, though Dallas doesn’t get a vote on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee again until 2014. He has said he was opposed to the central bank’s latest round of bond purchases known as quantitative easing.
Fisher, who lost a 1994 bid as a Democrat for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat before being named to lead the reserve bank seven years ago, said today that “the jig is up” for a dysfunctional fiscal system that even the Fed’s record accommodation can’t fix.
“Our fiscal authorities have mortgaged the material assets of our grandchildren to the Nth degree,” Fisher said. “Our government’s fiscal misfeasance threatens the world’s respect for America as the beacon of democracy.”
The reserve bank chief, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis before transferring to Harvard as an undergrad, said last month in a New York speech that comparing Congress to drunken sailors “might be deemed an insult to drunken sailors.”
Aki Ito contributed from California.