The Man Who Blew

Alan Greenspan, asset bubbles, inflation targeting, NGDP targeting, Sebastian Mallaby
"Bubbles," https://pixabay.com/en/soap-call-bubble-blow-bubbles-375267/

bubble5Sebastian Mallaby's biography of Alan Greenspan does just about everything right. Despite its length, it's eminently readable. Yet there's nothing superficial about it: Mallaby seems no less comfortable with economics than he is with English, allowing expert monetary and macro-economists to join non-expert readers in both enjoying and learning from his carefully-crafted book.

But what is perhaps the greatest strength of The Man Who Knew  is its success in steering a safe course between hagiography on one hand and hatchet-job on the other. Mallaby is evidently fond of his subject, who comes across here as exceedingly intelligent and talented (had he not had such a head for figures, Greenspan might have played the sax, or perhaps the clarinet, for a living), politically shrewd, and (to women especially) almost preternaturally charming. Yet when it comes to accounting for the former Fed Chairman's failures along with his achievements, Mallaby doesn't cook the books. Because his criticisms come across as those of a sincere if somewhat crestfallen admirer, they seem all the more damning.

Most damning of all is Mallaby's claim that, for all his knowledge and cleverness, and despite his having written a long paper, in 1959, arguing that central banks should guard against "speculative flights from reality" by choking-off asset bubbles while they're getting started, at the Fed Greenspan, instead of seeking to pop incipient bubbles, became a virtuoso bubble blower.

In particular, according to Mallaby, Greenspan

should have raised rates to fight bubbles on two occasions — in late 1998 and early 1999, and again in 2004-5. In both instances, unemployment was low, deflation was not threatening, and yet markets were evidently too hot. The Fed should have raised rates more aggressively, accepting somewhat lower growth in the short run in exchange for a more stable economy in the medium run (p. 682).

Mallaby's narrative supports this verdict with detailed accounts of Greenspan's boom-time decision-making, including his clashes with less sanguine Fed experts. With the benefit of hindsight, these often make for excruciating reading. Throughout his long tenure Greenspan frequently dismissed, and often dismissed curtly, warnings to the effect that the Fed's easy money policies, rather than market fundamentals, were driving interest rates, and long-term rates especially, to dangerously low levels.

The alarm raised by then-Governor Lawrence Lindsay in 1993 is a case in point. Lindsay, as Mallaby tells it, urged Greenspan and the rest of the FOMC to consider that

low inflation might offer a false signal for monetary policy. The consumer price index appeared stable because imports were getting cheaper: low-cost emerging nations were joining the world economy; globalization restrained prices for everything that could be traded. In this environment, the Fed could supply a surprising amount of easy money without being punished by inflation. But it did not necessarily follow that easy money was desirable… . Ordinary Americans were being tempted into borrowing imprudently. The resulting fragilities — asset bubbles on the one hand, precarious towers of household debt on the other — could upset the smooth path of the economy just as surely as inflation (p. 435).

Consistent with Lindsay's warning, and also with that of some high-level Fed staff economists, the bond bubble of 1993 burst dramatically when the Fed finally raised rates in the early months of 1994. But instead of supplying a lesson for the future, the episode was merely to serve as "a dry run" for far worse bubble-bust cycles to come.

Thus a decade after the 1994 crash, FOMC members were again warning Greenspan that the Fed's accommodative stance was contributing, not only to "speculative excesses" (Boston Fed President Cathy Minehan), unprecedented risk taking (Governor Mark Olsen), and a flattened yield curve (Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson), but to "distortions in financial markets that can only be unwound with some drama" (New York Fed President Tim Geithner). For his part Greenspan admitted then that the Fed was "undoubtedly pumping very considerable liquidity into the financial system" and that partly as a result of this "everybody is reaching for yield." Yet once again he preferred to take no action to counter what looked to more and more observers like a cluster of rapidly expanding  asset bubbles.

Why did Greenspan ignore the sort of advice Lindsay and others tried to offer him? According to Mallaby, he did so because he believed that making the avoidance of bubbles part of the Fed's mission would have required, not only a revision of the Fed's dual mandate, but a revision of basic monetary economics:

Greenspan mused to his FOMC colleagues that price stability might coexist dangerously with financial instability… . But then he quickly backed away, acknowledging that the implications of his hypothesis were impossibly unsettling.  "All of our concepts about how the monetary system works will have to go into a radical revision, which I can't at this stage even remotely contemplate," he confessed…  .

In short, Greenspan knew that financial instability mattered. But he focused instead on inflation for a simple and not entirely good reason. Controlling asset prices and leverage was hard; fighting inflation was easy.

Nor does Mallaby believe that things have gotten better since: "By committing more formally to inflation targeting after Greenspan's retirement," he says, "the Fed has unfortunately compounded the problem."

If Mallaby's assessment of Greenspan's performance itself suffers from a serious shortcoming, it is that he too readily accepts the conventional wisdom concerning just how "hard" it is for the Fed to guard against asset bubbles, employing that term loosely to refer to any unsustainable asset price movement. Doing so would not, first of all, require any revision to the Fed's present mandate. On the contrary: if history is any guide, that mandate is more than sufficiently vague and malleable to readily accommodate adjustments of the Fed's policy stance aimed at avoiding bubbles, or at least at reducing their frequency and amplitude. Moreover, it is easy enough to sustain the argument that it is only by making such adjustments that the Fed  can avoid serious departures from "maximum employment."

Nor is guarding against bubbles as daunting and fraught a technical exercise as those who oppose it assume. The tendency to consider it so is largely a result, IMHO, of the belief that Fed officials must choose between pricking bubbles and ignoring them. Putting the matter that way suggests that, in order to do anything about bubbles, Fed officials must treat asset price movements themselves as relevant policy indicators, if not policy targets. What's more, they must somehow be able to distinguish sustainable from unsustainable asset price movements. The thought of the FOMC  dabbling in market timing usually suffices to cinch the argument that we can do no better than to have the Fed ignore bubbles altogether.

But the suggestion that a Fed that can't be relied upon to recognize bubbles has no other choice but to tolerate them is false. It overlooks a third alternative: instead of having to either recognize and prick bubbles or tolerate them, monetary policymakers can pursue policies calculated to avoid blowing bubbles in the first place. It is the possibility that bubbles can develop, not only despite but because of,  central bankers' wrongheaded pursuit of ordinary macroeconomic objectives, that the conventional "prick or ignore" dichotomy overlooks.

More precisely, the conventional wisdom assumes that, so long as they maintain a relatively stable and low rate of inflation, central bankers are also doing all they can do to avoid blowing bubbles. In fact the assumption that a low and stable rate of inflation always suffices to avoid monetary bubble-blowing is exceedingly naive. Instead, an economy's maximum non-bubble-blowing  inflation rate tends to vary with its (total factor) productivity growth rate.

Too see why, consider a steadily growing economy with modest rates of output price inflation and total factor productivity growth. Now assume an unexpected but persistent increase in that economy's productivity growth rate. The increase implies a decline in the equilibrium rate of output price inflation relative to the equilibrium rate of input price inflation. It follows that, to preserve a stable  rate of output price inflation, the authorities must respond to the unexpected increase in productivity with an equally unexpected increase in money growth sufficiently great to raise the actual rate of factor price inflation to a level reflecting the higher rate of productivity growth. Full adjustment of the factor price inflation rate is likely, however, to take time, owing to the stickiness of many nominal factor prices (and of wage rates and salaries especially), and to the unexpected nature of the change in monetary policy. Until the adjustment is complete, both actual and expected future firm profits will be bolstered. That bolstering will in turn tend to be reflected in asset prices. The boom comes to an end once factor prices find their new, equilibrium levels.

To avoid this sort of thing, central banks don't have to keep an eye on asset prices, let alone know when those prices are poised to go south. Instead, they can quit trying to stabilize the rate of output price inflation, and instead stabilize the growth rate of a factor-price index or, what comes close to the same thing, the growth rate of either total or per-capita NGDP.  In other words, they need only do what Scott Sumner, David Beckworth, and other Market Monetarists have been urging them to do since the outbreak of financial crisis, and what many good economists once recommended, before inflation targeting managed, despite its weak theoretical foundations, to become de rigueur.

To sum up, having the Fed deal effectively with asset price bubbles doesn't call for changing it's dual mandate into a triple mandate. It doesn't even call for the flexibility implicit in a dual mandate.  All that's needed is a single mandate, so long as it is the right single mandate.

As an illustration of what I mean, consider the following chart, which shows the year-over-year rates of per-capita  NGDP growth and core PCE inflation since 1988 (left scale) together with year-on-year percentage change in the (quarterly) Wilshire 5000 index (right scale) . The chart clearly shows that pre-recession booms tend to be accompanied by persistently high rates of per-capita NGDP growth, whereas the pattern of core PCE inflation is largely unrelated to that of asset-market booms and busts:

ngdppcewilshire

Of course these patterns do no more than hint at the possibility that, by targeting the per-capita NGDP growth rate rather than inflation, and without having to refer to movements in asset prices themselves, the Fed might have avoided blowing unsustainable bubbles in the past. But as I've suggested, there are also plenty of good theoretical reasons for thinking the hint a good one.

  • Marcus Nunes

    George, I take issue with Mallaby´s interpretation of Greenspan´s "accomodative" stance.
    https://thefaintofheart.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/monetary-policy-1992-2009-a-market-monetarist-perspective/

    • George Selgin

      The trouble I see with your analysis is that it makes no allowances for how NGDP level expectations, and hence the appropriate NGDP target, can change over time. There is, for example, good reason for assuming a downward adjustment after the dot.com crisis, in which case it is misleading to extrapolate the pre-dot.com trend (as you do in assessing Greenspan's "forward guidance" policy) to determine whether policy was or wasn't too loose afterwards. Allow that trend line to be lower, and you would tell a different story! (You also wouldn't have to find yourself suggesting that there was nothing amiss about a 4.8% unemployment rate.)

      For these reasons, I think strict NGDP level targeting a bad idea. Instead, the aim should be to maintain a constant NGDP growth rate, while allowing that, IF NGDP growth somehow falls below that target, some "catching up" afterwards is called for. But so long as the growth target is strictly observed, that contingency never need arise. Level targeting only appears desirable, in other words, if growth targeting hasn't been consistently observed.

      • Marcus Nunes

        George, I strongly disagree with you about the Level vs Growth targeting. One of the problems with inflation targeting is that, because bygones are bygones, uncertainty about the price level remains. It would be preferable to have a price level target. That still leaves the problem, when there is a supply shock, of monetary policy (wrongly) reacting. That doesn[t happen when you have an NGDP level target.

        What´s amiss with 4.8% unemployment (with falling inflation) as a result of a positive productivity shock, as the one that took place betweeen 1995-2004

        • George Selgin

          I am not against a central bank taking steps to make up for NGDP level shocks. I am merely saying that a consistent policy of NGDP growth rate targeting avoids the likelihood that such shocks will occur, and makes them less severe when they do.

          Of course I need no convincing about the advantages of (any) NGDP target to (any) inflation target 😉

          As for 4.8% unemployment, I don't believe that such a low rate can readily be attributed to exceptional productivity growth. Although real hourly earnings had been rising, and were higher than they'd been since the mid 80s, they weren't extraordinarily high compered to either earlier or later periods. (They are considerably higher now, for example.) The only other time when the unemployment rate was as low since the late 1950s was in the late 1960s, a period notorious as one where inflation rates raced ahead of expected levels.

          Besides the exceptionally low unemployment rate, we also have negative real interest rates for much of the 2003-5 period, not to mention the extraordinary movements in asset prices themselves. All these are awfully hard to square with fundamentals.

        • George Selgin

          For further evidence of the Fed's excessively accommodating stance during the 2001-2006 period see this recent San Francisco Fed paper: http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2016-25.pdf

  • John Hall

    I've become more and more convinced that NGDP targeting needs to be more robust. Per capita adjustment is a step in the right direction, but it really needs to be adjusted for the composition of the labor force, or perhaps population. The aging of most developed market populations makes it very hard to compare what should be optimal policy in one time with another.

    • George Selgin

      I agree. In _Less Than Zero_, I argued that, ideally, spending needs to grow to accommodate any growth in factor input, and to shrink when factor input shrinks. In practice I suggested setting the growth rate of NGDP or some related measure of nominal spending on final goods to the trend rate of growth of weighted factor supply. Stabilizing per capita NGDP is a crude proxy for something like that–but still probably a big improvement over simple inflation targeting, let alone the Fed's actual ad-hoc policies.

  • Benjamin Cole

    I welcome the always intelligent George Selgin to the Market Monearism movement.

    But perhaps Selgin is unfair to Alan Greenspan. We did enjoy an awful lot of prosperity in the Greenspan years— and is that not what macroeconomic policy should be about? Prosperity, not an obsession with inflation or asset bubbles.

    Of course, one could also say that Eugene Fama is correct regarding asset bubbles. And, if we have asset bubbles, why do we never have reverse asset bubbles?

    Btw, the Richmond Fed recently released a paper indicating monetary policy in the United States has become tighter and tighter since 1980. I think this is correct.

    • George Selgin

      Well, policy certainly became tighter after 1980; and then it became way too tight for much of the period since 2007. As it was neither as loose in between as it had been before, nor as tight as it was later, I suppose the Fed paper is right! But I wonder at the supposed need for any elaborate proof of the fact.

      As for Greenspan, the recessions under his tenure were extremely costly. Of curse if we only compare the economy's performance during his tenure with what came before or since, he looks pretty good. But it hardly follows that (1) the goodness was all his doing or (2) he couldn't have done better.

      I do not use "bubbles" in Fama's technical sense. I do not accept the "irrational bubble-fundamentals" dichotomoy, which leaves no room for Fed-inspired unsustainable booms.

      I personally believe that many Market Monetarists make a mistake in downplaying or even denying the potential harm from excessively rapid spending growth. If downward growth rate deviation of 2-3 percentage points from trend can do a lot of harm, so can upward ones of the same magnitude. The harm is less obvious in the first case, because instead of consisting of unemployment and recession, it consists of clusters of unsustainable asset-price movements that will eventually lead to busts, unemployment, and recession. There can be too much as well as too little spending going on for an economy's good.

      • Philon

        You didn't respond to B. Cole's query about the asymmetry of concern: you and many other commentators worry about "bubbles"–unsustainable *increases* in asset prices–but not about "reverse bubbles"–unsustainable *decreases*. Why the asymmetry?

        • Andrew_FL

          Putting aside for the moment that his preferred policy norm would address such a thing if it existed, can you give a single historical example of your weird reverse bubble theory ever actually happening?

        • George Selgin

          I didn't respond in part because I'm not sure what Cole means by a "reverse bubble" but also because in general I'm pretty darn consistent when it comes to insisting that monetary policy does harm whether it is too loose or too tight. It's others who I find inconsistent in this regard. Some self-styled Market Monetarists, for instance,are never found complaining that money is too loose.

  • Andrew_FL

    I enjoyed this post and agree with it, but I'm trying to reconcile it with your previous one. You cite Yellen's chart on estimates of the natural rate of interest, and as far as I can tell on that chart, the Fed Funds Rate was above the natural rate for nearly the entirety of Greenspan's tenure, which seems incongruous with him blowing any bubbles.

    • George Selgin

      No, that isn't correct, Andrew. The chart shows estimates of the _real_ natural rate; the real ffr was negative from 2002-2006, and was as low as -2% around 2004-5. So the natural rate estimates for 2004-8 are mostly above, and often well above, the real ffr; after 2005 pretty much all of them are above.

      • Andrew_FL

        Oh, that clears up a LOT of confusion. I withdraw objections on both posts in that case.

  • Andrew_FL

    Alright I've come back with a bit of a puzzle for you.

    We can extend the stock market/NGDP relation back further:

    devoidofnulls.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/stockmarketcorrgdp1.png

    We can even take it back to the Great Depression:

    devoidofnulls.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/stockmarketcorrgdp2.png
    Except for WWII, it mostly holds up even back then, except…it started to break down in the 60s, and was a really poor correlation in the 70s. What happened?

    • George Selgin

      Very high inflation itself becomes disruptive to markets, including asset markets; and in the early 80s you had expectations of NGDP growth running way ahead of the (still high) reality. Stagflation, in short, is a special case.

  • Spencer Hall

    You're a "class act".

    The world is a lot simpler place than people know. It's impossible to miss asset bubbles. They are reflected in bank debits.

    • Spencer Hall

      The 1981 'TIME BOMB'

      Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – FRASER, G.6 Debits and Deposit Turnover at Commercial Banks

      https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/title/3954#!491139

      As prophesized: 1980 time bomb (before 1980, “you couldn’t write a check against it” – 1961 quote)

      https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/scribd/?item_id=491162&filepath=/files/docs/releases/g6comm/g6_19820216.pdf

      dec 99.8 1979
      jan 105.5
      feb 107.3
      mar 111.2
      apr 109.2
      may 112.2
      jun 111.5
      jul 114.3
      aug 116
      sep 116.9
      oct 119.2
      nov 115.4
      dec 118.2
      jan 125.8 1980
      feb 129.3
      mar 129.7
      apr 126.8
      may 132
      jun 134.7
      jul 135.3
      aug 135.4
      sep 135.3
      oct 135.2
      nov 141.8
      dec 150.8
      jan 161.3 1981 – intro of NOW & ATS accounts
      feb 168.7
      mar 176.9
      apr 171.8
      may 176.3
      jun 185.8
      jul 182.4
      aug 189.9
      sep 191.6
      oct 193.6
      nov 190.7
      dec 206.6

  • Spencer Hall

    Targeting N-gDp maximizes inflation and caps real-output. How stupid.

    • George Selgin

      Spencer, what's stupid (or at least utterly without foundation) is your clam. In any event, if asset bubbles are so easy to spot as you claim, instead of trolling you should be racking up $$$$$!

      • Spencer Hall

        As Jim Sloman said: "you bring your expectation to it".

        People like you are directly responsible for our mess.

      • Spencer Hall

        "or at least utterly without foundation"
        ——–

        Tell me again "without foundation". You have no idea whatsoever. You have no facts whatsoever. Go to "time out".

  • Spencer Hall

    And unlike you, I am going to change the world. My discovery is the greatest since the invention of the wheel.

    – Michel de Nostredame

  • Spencer Hall

    The FACT is that EVERYONE is WRONG:

    Alan Blinder: “After the Music Stopped”

    1) Bubble bursting is like that. At some unpredictable moment, investors start
    “looking down”…, realizing that the sky-high prices they believed would never
    end are not supported by the fundamental – and start selling. It is abundantly
    clear that the crash must come eventually. Fundamentals win out in the end. But
    why it happens just when it does is always a mystery.

    2) No one will ever know…why the stock market crashed in October 1987, rather
    than September, or November.

    Alan Greenspan: “The Map and the Territory”

    3) The wholly unprecedented stock price crash on 10/19/87…there was no simple
    probability distribution from which that event could be inferred

    4) with rare exceptions it has proven impossible to identify the point at which
    a bubble will burst, but its emergence and development are visible in credit
    spreads

    Ben S. Bernanke: “The Courage to Act”

    5) First, identifying a bubble is difficult until it actually pops.

    6) A lack of transparency caused a loss of confidence.

    Janet Yellen’s speech: “A Minsky Melt Down”

    7) “Minsky understood this dynamic He spoke of the paradox of deleveraging, in
    which precautions that may be smart for individuals and firms – and indeed
    essential to return the economy to normal state – nevertheless magnify the
    distress fot eh economy as a whole”

    Joseph E. Stiglitz “Free Fall”

    8) Bubbles are, however, usually more than just an economic phenomenon. They
    are a social phenomenon.

    9) 2) Futures prices are unpredictable.

    Paul Krugman “End This Depression Now”

    10) What actually happened, of course, was the Fed did everything Friedman said
    it should have done in the 1930’s – and so the economy seems trapped in a
    syndrome that, where not nearly as bad as the GD 1.0, bears a clear family
    resemblance.

    I cracked the code in July 1979. BuB should be in prison for economic treason.

  • Spencer Hall

    As I said:

    I discovered the Gospel in July 1979. It is worth trillions of economic dollars. It should be classified as "top secret" by the CIA. I should be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.

    A prior post.:

    "John, the #'s (which represent AD), for the 3rd qtr. are 2x that of the 2nd qtr. And that's without extrapolation and assuming Vt remains constant (& Vt will rise). – 20 Jul 2016, 06:50 PM

    Dr. Leland Pritchard (Ph.D, Economics, Chicago School -1933,MS, Statistics):

    "You have a predictive device nobody has hit on yet" – 9/8/81

    And “considering the distortions in the def. of M1a and the rapid increase in the currency component, the correlation of the time series is remarkable”

    Today's BEA release: Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.4 percent.

    I am going to change the world.

    – Michel de Nostredame

  • Spencer Hall

    And Greenspan is wrong about dis-savings (crowding out). It's impounding savings that has dropped investment and caused secular strangulation.

  • Spencer Hall

    Secular strangulation is principally driven by Keynesian economics (as in the General Theory) – that there is no difference between money and liquid assets (the Gurley-Shaw: “liquidity-theory-of-money”). That mis-understanding precipitated the world-wide recession/depression.

    There were precursors, the deregulation of DFI’s interest rates, the DIDMCA of March 31st 1980 (which provided the legal basis for transforming 38,000 financial intermediaries, the CUs, MSBs,
    and S&Ls), into 38,000 DFIs. The outcome was the S&L crisis and later (after dis-intermediation stopped), the housing boom, where our means-of-payment money, thru financial engineering,
    and Gov’t guaranteeing, approximated M3.

    Idle savings, monetary savings (DFI held savings) or funds held beyond the income period in which received, are an unrecognized leakage in Keynesian National Income Accounting procedures. Unspent balances which constitute a stoppage in the flow of funds derived from the main, macro-economic, income stream, have a direct and immediate dampening impact on the economy (as reflected by a drop in the transactions velocity of DD Vt, or commercial bank debits to deposit
    accounts).

    DD Vt dropped by 62% between 1981 and 1996 (when reporting for Vt was then discontinued). However, income velocity, M1 Vi, a contrived metric, remained unchanged during the same period. Note: if DD Vt drops, then so does aggregate monetary purchasing power, or AD. As AD
    declines (a proxy for N-gDp), incomes likewise decline.

    From the standpoint of the economy and the banking system, private sector savings (> $10 + trillion) is a function of the velocity of deposits, not a function of their volume. Whether the pubic saves, or dis-saves, transfers their savings to non-bank conduits, has no effect on the size or
    composition of the DFI’s assets or liabilities. From the standpoint of the non-banks, the savings-investment process involves the transfer of ownership of existing DFI deposits (which have been
    saved), within the member banks.

    The result of a persistent decline in N-gDp is a decay in the economic growth engine, i.e., personal consumption expenditures, PCE (2/3’s of gDp), then discretionary durable consumer goods lasting > 3 years, and eventually, the outlays for capital goods (replacement of, and new, plant and equipment), of which is responsible for increased productivity.

  • Spencer Hall

    Danger, danger, warning, warning Will Robinson. The Fed just released its #s.

  • W. Ferrell

    I'm about a hundred pages into Mallaby's biography and find it generally excellent. However, Mallaby (and perhaps Greenspan–not so clear) repeatedly imply that pre-1914 America was laissez-faire free market, when that is absolutely false.

    The National Banking Act was perverse regulation of the worst sort, creating instability. It's version of "the Gold Standard" was a thousand miles removed from free market banking and money. Govt requirement of buying silver clearly caused the credit bubble and collapse of 1893. Tariffs were very high and protectionist. Huge subsidies to well-connected railroads were rampant and corrupt. Etc.

    • George Selgin

      You are quite right, WF: I might have pointed out this an other mistaken parts of Mallaby's book, but I let them pass as so many obiter dicta. But since you raise this particular issue, I am tempted to write to him concerning it. As I think you know, it is a subject I have myself written on many times.

  • whateverdude

    " It is the possibility that bubbles can develop, not only despite but because of, central bankers' wrongheaded pursuit of ordinary macroeconomic objectives, that the conventional "prick or ignore" dichotomy overlooks."

    The possibility that this entire article ignores is that the Fed serves no useful economic purpose in the long term. It is useful for short-term political benefits to be doled out.

    • George Selgin

      Perhaps. But repeating the mantra "End the Fed" alone accomplishes nothing when it comes to convincing people that we can improve upon the existing system. So instead of disparaging the efforts of Fed critics who are trying to point out it's flaws, how's about giving us a hand?

      • whateverdude

        I am all for giving you a hand, sir.

        "End the Fed" is a good bargaining position to start from. Maybe then they'll let us have some competition in currency, money, banking, etc. without having Govt-picked winners and losers.

        I firmly believe that we need to seriously threaten the academic bullies at the Fed with the loss of their jobs, otherwise they will never revise their (false) beliefs.

        I assume that you want the Fed to be able to "save face" so that they have a comfortable path along which to change in a beneficial way. That's your choice. It's too disrespectful of the truth (as I perceive it) for my liking. And I fear the risks of economic distortions are merely shifted by advocating ideas like NGDP targeting in lieu of CPI targeting, for example. I like a clean break between socialist central planning and free markets.

  • Len Blake

    Greenspan is and has been a Negative Force and a Disaster in his professional and private life.
    Greenspan a disciple of Ayn Rand is only 104 years young. Put his diapers on and send the fossil,
    to Bingo game.

  • Len Blake

    Janet Yellen is just a very Ugly Slob who with Bruce Jenner contaminates USA!