Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bernanke Has Lost It

QE2 is a disastrous mistake and will only inflate asset and commodity prices and provide a major impetus to future inflation. Bernanke is misreading his mentor, Milton Friedman. Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent article by Alan Meltzer, one of Friedman's most famous disciples, laying out exactly why Friedman would not have agreed with Bernanke's current path.

QE2 is the announced future purchases of $ 600 billion of treasuries by the Federal Reserve. This would be a major expansion in the money supply. The dollar, of course, will collapse with this kind of money creation and economic policy makers around the world are looking toward imposing capital controls to try to offset Bernanke's policies. They view this as a trade war of epic proportions.

Ironically, Bernanke is too worried about the economy. Economies recover on their own when government gets out of the way, witness the 19th century in American. The period from the civil war until 1914 was the fastest economic growth in American history. It was characterized by deflation, not inflation; financial panics every ten years on average, but no government bail outs. The end result: a massive increase in the standard of living of the average American.

A healthy economy has ups and downs. Obama and Bernanke should get out of the way and let this economy recover.

No comments: