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How Richard Nixon Pressured Arthur Burns: Evidence from the Nixon Tapes

  • Burton A. Abrams


    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Evidence from the Nixon tapes, now available to researchers, shows that President Richard Nixon pressured the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Arthur Burns, to engage in expansionary monetary policies in the run up to the 1972 election. This paper quotes the relevant conversations from the Nixon tapes. Questions remain as to whether Burns followed an expansionary policy in an already-inflationary environment out of conviction or because of political pressure.

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Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 06-04.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 20, No. 4, Fall, 2006
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:06-04
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  1. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2004. "Choosing the Federal Reserve Chair: Lessons from History," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 129-162, Winter.
  2. Price, Simon, 1997. " Political Business Cycles and Macroeconomic Credibility: A Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(3-4), pages 407-27, September.
  3. Burton Abrams & Plamen Iossifov, 2006. "Does the Fed Contribute to a Political Business Cycle?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 249-262, December.
  4. Allen, Stuart D. & McCrickard, Donald L., 1991. "The influence of elections on federal reserve behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 51-55, September.
  5. Leertouwer, Erik & Maier, Philipp, 2001. "Who creates political business cycles: should central banks be blamed?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 445-463, September.
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