Posts Tagged ‘Fed’

Easy Money, Slow Growth

January 29, 2013

by Jerry O’Driscoll

In today’s Wall Street Journal, John Taylor explains why the U.S. recovery has been tepid while money growth has been very rapid. The recovery has set records for its weak pace, while money growth has set records for its rapidity. Taylor supplies some of the numbers.

Taylor continues an argument he made at the November 2012 Cato Monetary conference. It is the Fed’s policy that is causing the anemic recovery. To quote, “while borrowers like near zero interest rates, there is little incentive for lenders to extend credit at that rate.” He analogizes the Fed’s fixing interest rates to a policy of price ceilings on housing rents. Lenders supply less credit at the lower interest rates, as landlords supply less housing services under rent controls.

Taylor also notes that the Fed’s policy interferes with the signaling of the price system. It distorts capital allocation. Any decently trained micro economist would understand this. Why cannot the backers of the Fed’s policy? Read the rest of this entry »

Let Them Eat Chips

February 24, 2011

by Jerry O’Driscoll

In today’s Wall Street Journal, David Wessel (“Capital” column, A5) revisits the question of whether current Fed policy is inflationary. He correctly states the Fed’s position is that inflation is caused by expectations. Inflation will stay low if people expect it to stay low.  He quotes Fed Chairman Bernanke: “The state of inflation expectations greatly influences actual inflation and thus the central bank’s ability to achieve price stability.”  

The Fed chairman of course has the causation precisely backwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Sand Castle Monetary Policy

February 21, 2011

by Mario Rizzo  

Chairman Ben Bernanke says don’t blame the Fed for rapidly increasing commodity prices and probable bubbles forming in many investment markets throughout the world. I am just doing what is necessary for a recovery in the US and that is in the interests of the world. (See “Bernanke Defends US Policies” Wall Street Journal, February 19-20).  

The reality is different. Read the rest of this entry »

Monetary Policy At War With Itself

July 3, 2009

by Mario Rizzo  

It is well-known that John Maynard Keynes favored permanently low interest rates in order to foster adequate and stable investment demand. Let us first focus on stability and then we’ll see a connection to adequacy.

 What happens when counter-cyclical policy (aka Lerner’s “functional finance”) is practiced?  

The Wall Street Journal ran an excellent small article by Richard Barley, focused mainly on the UK, that makes interesting general points. Investors must try to figure out when the current policies of quantitative easing will be reversed. Those who are long (or plan to be long) in the securities which central banks have bought are quite interested in timing.  Read the rest of this entry »

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