Langevin challenger Riley’s proposal gets love from Ezra KleinSeptember 24th, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Veteran Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin is getting a more energetic challenge than usual from Republican Michael Riley, a self-funding candidate who says he’s ready to pour a significant amount of money into the 2nd District race.
While he hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention locally as his fellow Republican Brendan Doherty, Riley made a splash Friday on Ezra Klein’s influential blog for The Washington Post. Out of hundreds of congressional hopefuls running nationwide, Riley was one of the few to make a list of the year’s 13 most intriguing policy proposals:
Stop paying banks to hold cash
… Riley sets himself apart from most Republican candidates’ anti-Fed statements with a condemnation of the Fed’s “bizarre practice of paying banks to sit on money.” This is a reference to the Fed’s policy of paying 0.25 percent on excess reserves held by banks. Some advocates of more aggressive Fed action have called for the interest rate to be either lowered to zero or made negative, which produced favorable results when tried in Sweden.
Voters probably won’t ask about it much out on the campaign trail, but monetary policy appears to be a key differentiator with Langevin and Riley – the incumbent largely supports Bernanke’s Fed stewardship, while Riley told me recently he favors linking the value of the U.S. dollar to “an index of commodities or a single commodity (such as gold).” Riley’s email signature quotes Hayek, too – no word on whether Langevin’s features Keynes.