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Ignore the shutdown

Market Monetarists have a tendency not to get all worked up about fiscal issues. I guess the same goes for the discussion about a possible US government shutdown.

But what is history telling us? Well, it would not be the first time we would have a US government shutdown. Last time it happened was in 1995.

I stole this from Wikipedia:

The United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996 was the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget.

The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill the Republican Party-controlled Congress sent him. The federal government of the United States put non-essential government workers on furlough and suspended non-essential services from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996, for a total of 28 days. The major players were President Clinton and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.

…A 2010 Congressional Research Service report summarized other details of the 1995-1996 government shutdowns, indicating the shutdown impacted all sectors of the economy. Health and welfare services for military veterans were curtailed; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped disease surveillance; new clinical research patients were not accepted at the National Institutes of Health; and toxic waste clean-up work at 609 sites was halted. Other impacts included: the closure of 368 National Park sites resulted in the loss of some seven million visitors; 200,000 applications for passports and 20,000 to 30,000 applications for visas by foreigners went unprocessed each day; U.S. tourism and airline industries incurred millions of dollars in losses; more than 20% of federal contracts, representing $3.7 billion in spending, were affected adversely.

It sounds pretty horrible doesn’t it? But now look at how the US stock market performed ahead of, during and after the 1995 government shutdown.

govt shutdown

Are you scared? I am not. If the stock market is up it is normally a pretty good indication that no permanent damage has been done to the economy.

PS If you do not get why I am not scared about this you should take a look at what I said about the “fiscal cliff” a year ago – See for example here. It is all about a rule based monetary policy and the Sumner Critique.

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Cato Institute says Denmark is more economically free than the US

The Cato Institute and Fraser Institute have published their annual report on Economic Freedom of the World. As always it is interesting stuff. One can of course always debate the methods used to rank different countries in Economic Freedom ranking, but I nonetheless think it gives a pretty fair description of the overall tendencies.

One thing I always like to look at is the relative ranking of the Nordic countries versus the US. Interestingly enough all of the Nordic countries tend to rank as very economically free in both the Cato/Fraser rankings and in the similar ranking from the Heritage Foundation. This is despite the fact that the Nordic countries have very large public sectors and a high level of taxation. However, that is generally more than “compensated” by low levels product and labour market regulation and very open economies with free movement of capital and goods.

This is the 2013-ranking for the US and the Nordic countries:

(7) Finland

(14) Denmark

(17) United States

(29) Sweden

(31) Norway

(41) Iceland

So there you go – both Denmark and Finland are more economically free than the US at least according to Cato/Fraser.

I sure that a lot of Danish libertarians and conservatives would object to Denmark high ranking and they would undoubtedly stress that it is impossible to argue Denmark is more “economically free” than the US due to the fact that the Danish public sector is among the largest public sectors in the world and level of taxation is very high in Denmark. However, looking in all other areas Denmark is indeed a very free economy.

I am looking forward to comments from both Danes and Americans. Is Fraser and Cato right?

Abe should repeat Roosevelt’s successes, but not his mistakes

There is more good news from Japan today as new data shows that core inflation rose to 0.8% y/y in August and I think it is now pretty clear that the Bank of Japan is succeeding in defeating 15 years’ of deflation. Good job Mr. Kuroda!

BoJ chief Kuroda has done exactly done what Ben Bernanke called for back in 1999:

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States in 1932 with the mandate to get the country out of the Depression. In the end, the most effective actions he took were the same that Japan needs to take—- namely, rehabilitation of the banking system and devaluation of the currency to promote monetary easing. But Roosevelt’s specific policy actions were, I think, less important than his willingness to be aggressive and to experiment—-in short, to do whatever was necessary to get the country moving again. Many of his policies did not work as intended, but in the end FDR deserves great credit for having the courage to abandon failed paradigms and to do what needed to be done. Japan is not in a Great Depression by any means, but its economy has operated below potential for nearly a decade. Nor is it by any means clear that recovery is imminent. Policy options exist that could greatly reduce these losses. Why isn’t more happening?

To this outsider, at least, Japanese monetary policy seems paralyzed, with a paralysis that is largely self-induced. Most striking is the apparent unwillingness of the monetary authorities to experiment, to try anything that isn’t absolutely guaranteed to work. Perhaps it’s time for some Rooseveltian resolve in Japan.

So far so good and there is no doubt that governor Kuroda has exactly shown Rooseveltian resolve. However, while Roosevelt undoubtedly was right pushing for monetary easing to end deflation in 1932 he also made the crucial mistake of trying to increase wages.

One can say that Roosevelt succeed on the demand side of the economy, but failed miserably on the supply side of the economy. First, Roosevelt push through the catastrophic National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) with effectively was an attempt to create a cartel-like labour market structure in the US. After having done a lot of damage NIRA was ruled unconstitutional by the US supreme court in 1935. That helped the US recovery to get underway again, but the Roosevelt administration continued to push for increasing labour unions’ powers – for example with the Wagner Act from 1935.

While it is commonly accepted that US monetary policy was prematurely tightened in 1937 and that sent the US economy into the recession in the depression in 1937 it less well-recognized that the Roosevelt administration’s militant efforts to increase the unions’ powers led to a sharp increase in labour market conflicts in 1936-37. That in my view was nearly as important for the downturn i the US economy in 1937 as the premature monetary tightening.

Prime Minister Abe is repeating Roosevelt’s mistakes   

The “logic” behind Roosevelt’s push for higher was that if inflation was increased then that would reduce real wages, which would cut consumption growth. This is obviously the most naive form of krypto-keynesianism, but it was unfortunately a widespread view within the Roosevelt administration, which led Roosevelt to push for policies, which seriously prolonged the Great Depression in the US.

It unfortunately looks like Prime Minister Abe in Japan is now pushing for exactly the same failed wage policies as Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. That could seriously undermine the success of Abenomics.

This is from Bloomberg today:

“Abe last week began meetings with business and trade union leaders to press his case for wage increases, key to the success of his effort to spur growth under his economic policies dubbed Abenomics.”

This is exactly what Roosevelt tried to do – and unfortunately succeed doing. His policies was a massive negative supply shock to the US economy, which pushed wages up relatively what would have happened with out policies such as NIRA. The result was to prolong the depression and I am fearful that if Prime Minister Abe will be as successful in pushing for higher wage growth in Japan it will undermine the positive effective of Mr. Kuroda’s monetary easing – inflation will rise, but economic growth will stagnate.

What Prime Minister Abe is trying to do can be illustrated in a simple AS-AD framework.

Abe wage shock

Mr. Kuroda’s monetary easing is clearly increasing aggregate demand in the Japanese economy pushing the AD curve to the right (from A to B). The result is higher inflation and higher real GDP growth. This is what we are now clearly seeing.

However, Prime Minister Abe’s attempt of increasing wages can only be seen as negative supply shock, which if successful will push the AS curve to the left (from B to C). There is no doubt that the join efforts of Mr. Kuroda and Mr. Abe are pushing up inflation. However, the net result on real GDP growth and employment is uncertain.

I am hopeful that Mr. Abe is not really serious about pushing up wages – other than what is the natural and desirable consequence of higher demand growth – and I hope that he will instead push much harder to implement his “third arrow”, which of course is structural reforms.

Said, in another way Mr. Abe should try to push the AS curve to the right instead of to the left – then Abenomics will not repeat the failures of the New Deal.

Macroprudential follies and procyclical central bankers

A couple of days ago I came across an article from Bloomberg, which I think is very telling about everything which is wrong about the recent hype about macroprudential policies.

This is from Bloomberg:

When Katja Taipalus came home from school every day in the Finnish town of Jalasjaervi, she knew her working parents wouldn’t be there. Instead, her retired grandfather, who also lived in the large wooden house, played cards and other games with her. They even repaired a car.

Those discussions taught her to stay focused when she became an economist and her research hit a dead end, she says. The end result: an indicator that helps detect asset-price bubbles in equity and housing markets — as much as a year in advance.

“Asset prices have been one of the main components as financial crises have built up,” she said in the Bank of Finland’s historic teller hall in Helsinki, its walls decorated with giant tapestries. “If we think of the tools needed to allow policy makers time to react,” one of the main ones is “getting a signal as early as possible about an asset-price bubble in the making.”

Drawing up the indicator earned Taipalus her Ph.D. last year at the University of Turku, after four-and-a-half years of study alongside full-time work at the Finnish central bank. She heads the macroprudential-analysis division of the financial-stability and statistics department, running a team of seven economists and experts who work on analysis and applied research.

There you got it. The head of macroprudential analysis in Bank of Finland apparently is able to “forecast” every major turn in the US stock market the last 140 year! (See her paper on the issue here)

I don’t know anything about Ms. Taipalus’ private wealth, but if this is true she have to be a very wealthy person indeed. If you are able to build such a model you should be able to make enormous profits. But the truth is of course that you cannot really build a model that can do this. Economists, speculators and charlatans have tried to do this as long as we have had financial markets and the truth is that nobody consistently is able to beat the market.

Yes, we might find indicators and models that might historically have worked, but the point is that once these model or indicators becomes known they will breakdown as everybody would start to use them. This is the case of stock markets and it is the the case in the  baseball market (See here why Oakland A’s stopped winning).

You might think that this is Econ 101, but nowadays central bankers increasingly think they can beat the markets. This is at the core of macroprudential thinking. Central bankers will design models and indicators to spot bubbles and imbalances in the economy and use these models to counteract “excesses” in the financial sector by increasing for example capital and liquidity ratios. I personally find the theoretical and empirical foundation for this extremely flawed.

The proponents of macroprudential policies fail to understand the basic truth of Goodhart’s Law – When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. It is that simple.

Procyclical central bankers

Another very serious flaw in macroprudential thinking is that not only is it assumed that central bankers can beat the market, it is also assumed that central bankers are benevolent dictators who will always do the right thing when they spot a bubble. However, we all know that central bankers are far from all-knowing benevolent dictators – if they were then there would never had been any crisis at all.

I certainly did not hear many central bankers who both warned about the risk of crisis prior to 2008 and at the same time initiated policies to avoid the crisis unfolding. In fact I only remember debating numerous central bankers prior to 2008 who all consistently said that everything was just fine.

A way to illustrate central bankers abilities to beat the market and use that information to their own advantage is the management of foreign exchange reserves. If central bankers indeed are more clever than market participants then one should expect FX reserves to to yield an higher and less risky return than for example privately managed pension funds.

Unfortunately most central banks are not exactly transparent about their ability to manage FX reserves so it is hard to find any good comparison between central bankers and private sector asset mangers abilities to undertake asset allocation. But as far as I can see there is absolutely no evidence that central bank asset managers consistently beat private sector asset managers.

I have found a quite interesting IMF study – Procyclicality in Central Bank Reserve Management: Evidence from the Crisis – by Jukka Pihlman and Han van der Hoorn from 2010, which should give serious doubt about central bankers abilities in terms of spotting bubbles. Just take a look at the abstract:

A decade-long diversification of official reserves into riskier investments came to an abrupt end at the beginning of the global financial crisis, when many central bank reserve managers started to withdraw their deposits from the banking sector in an apparent flight to quality and safety. We estimate that reserve managers pulled around US$500 billion of deposits and other investments from the banking sector. Although clearly not the main cause, this procyclical investment behavior is likely to have contributed to the funding problems of the banking sector, which required offsetting measures by other central banks such as the Federal Reserve and Eurosystem central banks. The behavior highlights a potential conflict between the reserve management and financial stability mandates of central banks. This paper analyzes reserve managers’ actions during the crisis and draws some lessons for strategic asset allocation of reserves going forward.

Concluding, central banks during booms tend to take on more risk – they overweight risky assets – while they during busts tend to reduce risk – underweight risky assets. Hence, central banks consistently act in a procyclical fashion.

This is of course is not only bad in terms of ensuring the highest and most stable return at the lowest possible risk, but it also adds to the swings in the economy as the central bank will add liquidity to the financial system during booms and redraw liquidity during crashes.

As the authors of the IMF study states:

When the crisis hit (in 2008), many central banks withdrew these investments, in some cases rather abruptly, in ways very similar to commercial asset managers. Traditionally very conservative investors, with a low appetite for risk, the crisis response of reserve managers was perhaps unsurprising—and from an individual reserve manager’s perspective even rational—yet the withdrawal of central bank investments also put further pressure on the banking sector when other sources of funding dried up simultaneously and spreads exploded. In some countries, the withdrawal was unavoidable, as reserves were urgently needed for intervention or to finance domestic support measures during the crisis. In most countries, though, reserves were not used, or the amount used was much smaller than the withdrawal of investments from the banking sector. In each case, and certainly in aggregate, reserve managers acted very procyclically, and may well have been in conflict with the more prominent financial stability objectives of the central bank. Through such behavior, reserve managers may have contributed, albeit unintentionally, to the funding problems in some banks, and have forced an even stronger policy response by the authorities in countries issuing a reserve currency.

The authors also quotes a yearly survey of Reserve Management Trends (RMT) from Central Banking Publications. This is from RMT in 2007 – one year ahead of the crisis:

“The trend for central banks to invest in riskier assets in the search for yield has continued…Many respondents gave what they saw as the reason for the continuation of this trend. In particular, several emphasised the low-yield environment.”

So it might be that the head of macroprudential analysis at the Bank of Finland can forecast all stock market busts one-year in advantage, but apparently her colleagues in most central banks of the world did not have access to her models. Too bad…

So I remain skeptical about the usefulness of macroprudential policies – in fact I believe that an over-reliance on such policies could lead to an increase in the volatility and fragility of the global financial system rather than the opposite.

Ukraine should adopt an ‘Export Price Norm’

It has not be a great year for Emerging Markets and the next Emerging Markets country to worry about could very well be Ukraine.

This is what my Danske Bank colleague Sanna Kurronen has to say about Ukraine:

We have been expecting a soft devaluation of the Ukrainian hryvnia for some time, as the artificially strong exchange rate is creating severe imbalances in the economy. Currently, we see it as a likely scenario that Ukraine will allow soft devaluation in accordance with the IMF, which would lead to a 10% devaluation of the currency and then move to a managed float regime following the Russian example. However, as the necessary devaluation has been continuously postponed, it is beginning to seem more likely that the devaluation will be more dramatic.

GDP has been contracting for a year now in Ukraine as domestic production has been declining significantly. Yet, retail sales growth was still 6.7% year-on-year in August, supported by low inflation and rapid wage growth. A large current account deficit has been putting a pressure on the hryvnia, which has led to a rapid deterioration in Ukrainian foreign exchange reserves. The reserves are already at a critical level, below three months’ worth of imports. As market sentiment remains vulnerable for emerging markets, we believe external debt issuance is now very difficult for Ukraine and that significant debt redemptions are ahead.

A little more than a third of outstanding loans to both households and firms in Ukraine are still foreign-currency denominated. This makes devaluation politically very difficult. Nevertheless, we believe it is a good time for Ukraine to close a deal with the IMF, hike domestic gas tariffs and allow devaluation of the currency. Co-operation with the IMF would of course reduce the country’s independence, but only temporarily. The other alternative would be closer co-operation with Russia, which might have less predictable consequences. A hike in gas tariffs would speed up inflation, but the CPI is now around 0%, so there is room for tariff increases. The presidential election is still some time away (in March 2015), which allows the economy to grow while the election draws nearer. By postponing a necessary devaluation of the currency, Ukraine risks a severe collapse in its currency, whereas the IMF could provide the tools for a more restrained devaluation.

This is very much a story of fear-of-floating (due to significant foreign currency lending) and regime uncertainty (the political situation is nearly by definition always extremely uncertain).

Ukraine’s fundamental problem is an extremely dysfunctional political system and all other problems seems to smaller or large extent to be a function of the fundamental “regime uncertainty” in the country. However, purely looking at the monetary side of things it is clear that Ukraine should move towards a much more “floating” exchange rate or alternatively introduce a variation of what I have termed an Export-Price-Norm (EPN).

Ukraine could introduce an Export Price Norm by pegging the hryvnia to a basket of US dollars and the price of the country’s main export products – steel and agricultural products. That I believe would do a great deal to stabilize aggregate demand growth in the Ukrainian economy and at the same time introduce a lot more rule-based monetary policy in Ukraine. Something badly needed in a country known for extremely low levels of transparency in economic policy making.

If the hryvina was pegged to a basket of the dollar and the price of the main export goods then the hryvina would automatically weaken if the price of for example steel or agricultural products drop. That would lead to an significant stabilization of export prices (measured in hryvina), which on its own would do a great deal to stabilize overall aggregate demand in the economy. It would not be perfect, but it certainly be much better than the present quasi-pegged exchange rate regime and would likely also work better than a freely floating currency.

If you want to read more on why I think an Export Price Norm would work well for Emerging Markets commodity exporters see more here in the case of Angola, Russia, VenezuelaMalaysia and South Sudan.

Ukraine NGDP steel

Visiting Scott in Boston

I have spent the last couple of days in the US – in New York and in Boston. Even though I have been working I have also had time to meet up with friends.

Today in Boston Scott Sumner was my host. It was actually the first time Scott and I met – two left-handed monetary geeks. I am not sure we realized what was happening around us as we spent all afternoon talking about economics, politics, American versus European culture and a shared disillusion with monetary policy makers (in a disillusion with all policy makers).

We covered a lot of stuff in a few hours this afternoon, but a key take away is our common concern about the supply side impact of this crisis. Both Scott and I fear that five years into this crisis the lack of an appropriate monetary policy response have led to very unfortunate policy decisions in other areas.

Hence, both Scott and I agree that moral hazard problems in global financial system have become a lot worse during this crisis than before. I think that both Scott and I will blog a lot more about that in the future. In that sense I think it is save to conclude that as particularly the US economy is moving back to some “normality” and quasi-nominal stability our focus will increasingly be on supply issues. That is not to say that we will stop talking about monetary policy. Both of us have been obsessed with monetary policy issues for decades so we will certainly not stop talking about it.

Furthermore, as the particularly the US is gradually (and too slowly) exiting the crisis it will become important to win the intellectual fight over the history of the Great Recession.

The Great Recession was not caused by market failure. The Great Recession was a result massive monetary policy. The Sumnerian-Hetzelian analysis is correct. Monetary policy became insanely tight in 2008 both in the US and Europe. There was a lot of other things went wrong in the lead up to the crisis – for example the expansion of the global financial safety net which massively increase the fragility of the global financial system prior to the crisis, but it was the monetary contraction in 2008 which was the main cause of the crisis.

If we fail to get that message across then policy makers are doomed to repeat the failures of 2008.

I shouldn’t really share the picture below, but this probably is a pretty good illustration of how two monetary policy nerds look like. Here Scott and I are on the road on the way to Scott’s home.

ScottandME

Thanks for a great day Scott!

PS I am toying with an idea that I want to write two blog posts about the medium-term outlook for the US economy. One positive and one negative. during the last couple of days I mostly got material for the optimistic post. The US is still a great nation and I am always happy to visit and I look forward to be back soon.

No tapering, but no rule either. Net, net that is bad

I just arrived in New York and I will spend the next couple of days in the New York and Boston. For once my timing is good – the Federal Reserve just announce that there is not going to be any tapering.

Scott Sumner is happy, but I must admit that I for once disagree with the Fed on the hawkish side (kind of). Not that I am not favouring monetary easing, but I don’t really think that the important thing is the amount of quantitative easing the Fed is doing in the sense of 10 or 20 billion dollars more or less per month relative to Fed communication.

Blackrock’s Larry Fink is speaking on CNBC as I am writing this. He is saying that minor tapering with better guidance would have been better. I agree on that. I would much more have liked to see the Fed coming out today spelling out its monetary policy much more clearly. The fact is that the US economy is getting better – slowly, but surely so tapering is justified sooner or latter.

After all the Fed has now spend months getting the markets ready for the tapering and now it didn’t “deliver”. Not that I want tightening US monetary policy, but I want much better communication and better rules. The Fed didn’t move in that direction today. That is a missed opportunity. Today the fed could have tapered by 10 or 20 billion dollars, but at the same time clearly spelled out a rule for money base growth. It didn’t do tapering, but didn’t spell out a rule. Remember – Market Monetarism is not about monetary “stimulus”. It is about a rule based monetary policy. And remember the Fed could actually have eased today with a clear rule AND done tapering at the same time.

There is still good arguments for monetary easing in the US, but relative to the need for spelling a clear monetary policy rule that it unimportant.

Unfortunately I don’t have more time for blogging now – I am off to dinner with a good friend who happens to be another Market Monetarist. Try to guess who it is…

PS Larry Fink is also talking on CNBC about the debt celling. I don’t care about that. Lets just ignore it. Phew Larry Fink thinks Larry Summers would be a great Fed chairman. I don’t.

Rules vs central bank superheros

I have a new piece in today’s City AM on central bankers as (pretend) superheros versus rules based monetary policy:

LARRY Summers is out of the race to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair. After months of debate, with politicians and media picking over Summers’s personality and background, the spotlight has returned to Janet Yellen, deputy Fed chairwoman. Is she now a certainty? Or is another monetary superhero about to emerge?

All of this recalls the moment when George Osborne announced that Mark Carney would be governor of the Bank of England. Carney was described by both the chancellor and the media as a superstar. It’s hard to miss the parallel with the hubbub around Gareth Bale’s £85.3m switch to Real Madrid.

But it’s a problem when monetary policy becomes viewed as uniquely dependent on a single “personality”. Central bankers should not be seen as star footballers. At best, they are referees. This is partly a problem of job description. What should the governor do? Should he or she fly about, putting out fires as they erupt in the economy? Or should he or she follow clearly defined monetary policy rules?

Over the past five years, we have grown increasingly used to the idea of the fire-fighting central banker. Even in 1999, Time magazine described Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Summers as “The Committee to Save the World” for their role in the Asian crisis, the Russian crisis and the collapse of long-term capital management. Summers’s reputation nearly landed him the top job at the Fed.

Read the rest here.

Chuck Norris is back in the running

I seldom agree with Joseph Stiglitz on anything, but I agree with him that it would be a bad idea to name Larrry Summers new Fed chairman. So both Stiglitz and I should be happy today as Summers has redrawn his candidacy for new Fed chairman.

This is Summers’ letter to president Obama:

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to withdraw my name for consideration to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

It has been a privilege to work with you since the beginning of your Administration as you led the nation
through a severe recession into a sustained economic recovery built on policies to promote employment
and strengthen the middle class.

This is a complex moment in our national life. I have reluctantly concluded that any possible
confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interests of the Federal
Reserve, the Administration, or ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.

I look forward to continuing to support your efforts to strengthen our national economy by creating a
broad based prosperity and to reform our financial system so that no President ever again faces what you
and your economic team faced upon taking office in 2009.

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence Summers

And the market reaction? Well, the US stock market is up, the dollar weaker and yields are lower. Said in another way US monetary conditions are easier today than on Friday.

So by redrawning from the Fed race Summers has done more for a “sustaine economic recovery”  and more “to promote employment” than by staying in the race.  That is not my verdict, but the verdict of the markets.

Don’t ever mess with Chuck Norris!

We agree on nothing – me and that other guy who will run the Fed

Here is what I believe:

1) Monetary policy is highly potent – also at the Zero Lower Bound.

2) Monetary and fiscal policy should be strictly rule-based. That also goes for financial regulation.

3) The fiscal multiplier is roughly zero if the central bank has an inflation target, an NGDP target or a price level target.

4) Central banks should not be engaged in bailing out countries, banks. companies or individuals. Central banks should not conduct credit policies. Central banks should focus on it’s nominal target.

5) Free markets and the price system work well if monetary policy does not mess up things.

Here is what the likely next Federal Chairman seems to think:

1) There is a liquidity trap so monetary policy is impotent and quantitative easing is not working

2) Central bankers should not follow rules – neither should the fiscal authorities. Policy makers are all-knowing benevolent dictators. And particularly the next Fed Chairman is very clever.

3) Fiscal policy works great in the hands of clever policy makers like the next Fed chairman.

4) The primary role of central bankers is to be firefighters. They should run around and put out fires started by irresponsible bankers and investors in the private sector.

5) Free market capitalism is inherently unstable and it is the job of the Fed to “correct” the price system. Luckily the Fed chairman is all-knowning.

I guess I can only be positive surprised going forward…

 

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