Inflation Is Not Measured Correctly

by Gunther Schnabl* The European Central Bank (ECB) continues buying securities. By the end of 2017, the balance sheet is expected to have further grown by about 800 billion euros. This corresponds to a growth rate of 20 percent per year, while real growth of the euro area is expected to be only 1.5 percent. … Continue reading Inflation Is Not Measured Correctly

Unintended Monetary Policy Effects – Tale II: ECB Crisis Policies

by Andreas Hoffmann and Nicolás Cachanosky The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) and European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy responses to the recent financial disasters offer two tales of unintended consequences. Our previous post outlined undesired effects of the Fed’s policies. In this post, we suggest that the ECB’s stabilization policy did not only fail to achieve its … Continue reading Unintended Monetary Policy Effects – Tale II: ECB Crisis Policies

Easy Money, Slow Growth

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 … Continue reading Easy Money, Slow Growth

Clarifications of the Austro-Wicksellian Business Cycle Theory

by Mario Rizzo There has been a lively debate on forecasts of high inflation made by those worried about the Fed’s recent policy of quantitative easing. For details I refer the reader to Daniel Kuehn's excellent blog. The question to which I address myself is solely “What do these predictions have to do with core Austrian … Continue reading Clarifications of the Austro-Wicksellian Business Cycle Theory

Taylor, Krugman and Quantitative Easing

by Chidem Kurdas In two substantial New York Review of Books articles, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells offer their views on various explanations of the property bubble and ways to get out of the slump.  On the latter front, they advocate aggressive deficit spending by the federal government and  quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve— … Continue reading Taylor, Krugman and Quantitative Easing

The European Central Bank Turns into the Fed?

by Andreas Hoffmann* The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Fed differ in many aspects. First, the ECB is considered to be more hawkish on fighting inflationary tendencies. Its primary goal is price stability and it has continued to watch money growth. Output gaps below full-employment are only considered secondary as instrument to forecast inflation. … Continue reading The European Central Bank Turns into the Fed?

The Fed’s Coming Indiscretion?

by Mario Rizzo   There seems to be broad agreement among economists that the current recovery from the recession will be characterized by a slowly falling unemployment rate. This makes a good deal of sense since the problem that created the recession was a misdirection of resources into a number of sectors including housing construction and … Continue reading The Fed’s Coming Indiscretion?

Seizing the Commanding Heights

 by Jerry O'Driscoll  On the Opinion page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal, George Melloan spells out how government stimulus is stifling lending, crowding out private investment and impeding economic recovery.  He writes that "the credit market has been tilted to favor a single borrower with a huge appetite for money, Washington." It has done so in … Continue reading Seizing the Commanding Heights

Avoiding Deflation Without Bailouts

by Mario Rizzo   I have not posted in a while since I have been on vacation. During that time an interesting dispute has arisen among friends Tyler Cowen, David Henderson, Arnold Kling, Peter Boettke, Bob Murphy, Steve Horwitz and others over whether Ben Bernanke was right to bail out specific banks. (Some of this has … Continue reading Avoiding Deflation Without Bailouts

Ben Bernanke: Ipse Dixit

by Mario Rizzo Today's Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He assures us that the Fed has the tools and the willingness to restrain inflation when that is appropriate (not now). He recognizes it is all about timing. But everything is under control: "Overall, the Federal Reserve has many … Continue reading Ben Bernanke: Ipse Dixit

Monetary Policy At War With Itself

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 … Continue reading Monetary Policy At War With Itself

The Next Bubble

by Jerry O’Driscoll   Since September, 2008 the Fed has been engaged in policy of unprecedented monetary expansion.  Arthur Laffer provides the numbers in The Wall Street Journal for June 11, 2009.  "The percentage increase in the monetary base is the largest increase in the past 50 years by a factor of 10."  The stock market … Continue reading The Next Bubble

What Ended The Great Recession?

by Mario Rizzo   Some business forecasters with a not-too-bad record are predicting that the recession will be over by the end of the year.  (NBER dates the beginning to December 2007.)   Of course, the recovery in terms of real output from the Great Depression began in the 3Q of 1933 and that did not preclude … Continue reading What Ended The Great Recession?

OK, it’s “later” now

by Sandy Ikeda MSNBC reports that "Evidence mounts that recession may be ending". At the same time, in the Wall Street Journal: [T]he central bank has been buying mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys. Through programs announced since last fall, it has bought more than $460 billion of mortgage-backed securities and more than $125 billion of Treasury … Continue reading OK, it’s “later” now

The Fed Against Equilibration

by Mario Rizzo   Reality is more complex than our models. Free-market forces are asserting themselves but the Fed is also intervening and trying to affect those forces. Real-world data is the result of both factors.   The Commerce Department  has issued some new data showing that house sales are rebounding (but still off their … Continue reading The Fed Against Equilibration

Reflating the Housing Bubble?

by Mario Rizzo   In an effort to prevent deflation, the Fed has now decided to do more quantitative easing, that is, to buy with newly created high-powered money various assets aside from short-term Treasury securities. Over the next six months it will buy up to $300 billion in long-term Treasury bonds.   It will … Continue reading Reflating the Housing Bubble?