The use of impression management to promote 'starve the beast' policies
by Amy M. Hageman, Vicky Arnold, Steve G. Sutton
International Journal of Critical Accounting (IJCA), Vol. 1, No. 1/2, 2009

Abstract: This study explores the use of impression management techniques promoting tax policy consistent with starve the beast (STB) policies. We employ thematic content analysis to examine how the 'independent' Federal Reserve Board (FRB) under Alan Greenspan used impression management tactics mimicking Bush's White House in promoting the 2001 Economic Growth & Revenue Reconciliation Act. Results confirm impression management technique use to market STB policies undermining society's interests. Results suggest Greenspan's advocacy failed to preserve FRB independence by taking a political position using impression management techniques mirroring White House strategies. Greenspan's stance was inconsistent with the FRB's charter, setting a dangerous precedence that erodes the FRB's independence. This suggests the FRB's lack of regulatory oversight blamed for snowballing the 2008 economic crisis was potentially driven by attempts to align the FRB with the neoconservative White House. This partisan activity threatens long-term foundations of US monetary policy, which has significant global implications.

Online publication date: Tue, 19-May-2009

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