A majority of respondents (53%) indicated they believe monetary policy is on the right track, but 39% felt that monetary policy was too stimulative.
The first thing that struck me is that they didn't even report the third choice, money is too tight. I had to go to the raw data to find out that 6.6% supported that view, while 2.1% had no opinion. Of course now that we are this far along in the recovery, it's not obvious that more stimulus is needed. So let's go back to the bottom of the recession, mid-2009, when any idiot could have told you that more monetary stimulus was desirable. What did economists think back then?
Nearly 70 percent of business economists believe that monetary policy is "about right," up from 63 percent in March and 56 percent a year earlier. Another 25 percent view the Federal Reserve's current policy stance as too stimulative, up slightly from March. Respondents are split on whether policy should remain on hold (49 percent) or become more restrictive (45 percent) over the next six months.
Again, no discussion of how many favored easier money. At most 5%, and probably closer to 3% (assuming 2% undecided.) In contrast, in mid-2009 100% of market monetarists believed that money was too tight, and of course in retrospect we were right.
So there are basically two groups of economists, those who agreed with the Fed, and those who thought Fed policy was too stimulative. If the Fed had done what was necessary to prevent the Great Recession, they would have had to move far out of the mainstream. As it was, their views were already better than average. It is simply unrealistic to expect a major conservative institution to take radical positions on important public policy questions. I'm not even sure it's desirable for powerful institutions to make radical decisions. Instead, we need to fix the economic profession, so that economists as a group favor monetary policy regimes that provide slow and steady growth in nominal spending.