Monday, September 12, 2016

Central Bank Handwringing

The Fed wonders, outloud these days, what should we do to get the economy going?  The European Central Bank wonders the same thing.

These central bankers are as clueless as the financial commentators that follow them.

Economic growth has been all but outlawed in the major western economies.  Not much the central banks can do if free enterprise is hamstrung by regulations.  Easy money, zero interest rates!  None of this matters in a world focused on raising minimum wage rates, outlawing trade, destroying the fossil fuel industry, regulating CEO (and other) pay, outlawing market-making by Wall Street, restricting commercial and residential loans by bank regulators, encouraging employees to spend more time with their lawyers than with their employer.

There has been a concerted war on free markets since the Fall of 2008.  That war has been largely successful in slowing down the traditional economic recovery that normally could have been expected from the financial collapse of 2008.  There has never been a recovery this slow in either Europe of the US.

Yet, never have central bankers and regulators been more active.

So, now central bankers are wondering.  What policies can we pursue to get economic growth going?  The answer: none.

The central banks can only affect the supply of government high powered money -- nothing else, really.  But, central banks sure get a lot of newsprint.  Maybe they like getting lots of newsprint.  Who knows?

But, for real economic growth, central banks are irrelevant, powerless and clueless.

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