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Nixon was running for President in 1959–1960, the Fed, under the Truman-appointed William Mc Chesney Martin, Jr., was undertaking a monetary tightening policy that resulted in a recession in April 1960.In his book Six Crises, Nixon later blamed his defeat in 1960 in part on Fed policy and the resulting tight credit conditions and slow growth.During Burns' tenure, the rate of change of the consumer price index rose from 6%/year in early 1970 to over 12%/year in late 1974 after the Arab Oil embargo, and eventually falling to under 7%/year from 1976 to the end of his tenure in January, 1978, with an annual average rate of consumer price inflation of approximately 9% during his term.Negative economic events included multiple oil shocks (19) and heavy government deficits arising in part from the Vietnam War and Great Society government programs.Arthur Frank Burns (August 27, 1904 – June 26, 1987) was an American economist.His career alternated between academia and government. Council of Economic Advisors from 1953 to 1956 under Dwight D. In 1953, he stated the American economy's "ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods." He served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1970 to 1978 and as Ambassador to West Germany from 1981 to 1985.During his tenure, Burns began the academic tradition of determining recessions, a role continued by the NBER's business cycle dating committee.
Therefore, he believed that the Federal Reserve should not take on the responsibility for attempting to accomplish by itself, under its existing powers, a reduction in the rate of inflation to, say, 2 percent...
Beginning in 1933, the academic part of Burns's career focused on the measurement of business cycles, including questions such as the duration of economic expansions, and what economic variables rise during expansions and fall during recessions.
In 1934, Burns wrote Production Trends in the United States Since 1870 his first major publication in the field.
After finally winning the presidential election of 1968, Nixon named Burns to the Fed Chairmanship in 1970 with instructions to ensure easy access to credit when Nixon was running for reelection in 1972. Reflecting in his diary about a 1971 meeting attended by himself, Nixon, Treasury Secretary John Connally, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Burns wrote: The President looked wild; talked like a desperate man; fulminated with hatred against the press; took some of us to task – apparently meaning me or [chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Paul] Mc Craken or both – for not putting a gay and optimistic face on every piece of economic news, however discouraging; propounded the theory that confidence can be best generated by appearing confident and coloring, if need be, the news. Although Burns opposed Nixon's decision to close the "gold window," he "'assured the President that I would support his new program fully,' notwithstanding his reservations about the gold suspension." Burns thought the country was not willing to accept rates of unemployment in the range of six percent as a means of quelling inflation.
From the Board of Governors meeting minutes of November 1970, Burns believed that: ...prospects were dim for any easing of the cost-push inflation generated by union demands.