Thursday, March 10, 2016

Europe -- What to Do? -- Draghi and Rattner

Europe is very much in the news today.  ECB head, Mario Draghi, is expected to announce a new set of measures to pick Europe off the floor economically.  LOL.  Europe's problems have very little to do with monetary policy and can't be solved by anything that the ECB does.  The current negative interest rate policy is more useful as a butt of jokes than as serious economic policy.

Steve Rattner, architect of Obama's GM bailout policy, has penned an article in today's NYTimes that is partly right, mostly wrong and mainly a political document for the Obama Administration.  Rattner does pay lip service to the idea that overburdening regulation, both in Europe and the US, has hamstrung economic progress.  That much is correct.  Rattner also takes a swipe indirectly at Dodd-Frank and overzealous financial regulation as inhibiting commercial loan growth in the US.  That, too, is on target.  The rest of the article is mostly myth or outright nonsense.

Draghi will fill the headlines, but like his cohort, Janet Yellen, nothing of importance will emerge.  The economy of the US and Europe will continue to stagnate until over-regulation is addressed.

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