When the Fed launched its aggressive monetary policy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many free-market economists predicted it would result in massive price inflation. That never materialized. As a result, Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman love to finger-point and mock those who criticize easy money policies designed to “stimulate aggregate demand.” They claim the lack of price inflation proves they were right all along. You can massively increase the money supply during a downturn to stimulate the economy without sparking inflation. Free-market people are wrong.
But just because we don’t see price inflation doesn’t mean there isn’t any inflation at all. After all, the new money has to go someplace. If we don’t see it manifested in rising prices, it’s because we’re looking in the wrong place.
Thirty years ago today, the US stock market had its worst single day in history.
On Oct. 19, 1987, now known simply as “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 508 points. That represented 22.6% of its value.
Over the last couple of year, stocks have enjoyed a meteoric rise. The Dow closed above 23,000 for the first time this week. But in recent months, bankers and investors around the world have expressed started expressing concern about the rapidly inflating stock market bubble and its future impact on the world economy. Just last month, Tiger Management co-founder Julian Robertson unequivocally called the US stock market a bubble and blamed it on the Fed’s interventionist monetary policy.
At some point, the soaring market will fall back to earth, and MarketWatch columnist Howard Gold says the next crash may prove worse than Black Monday.
Bankers and investors around the world have started to express concern about the rapidly inflating stock market bubble, and its future impact on the world economy. You can add Tiger Management co-founder Julian Robertson to that list.
Robertson appeared on CNBC with Kelly Evans and unequivocally called the stock market a bubble. Not only that, he said it was the Federal Reserve’s fault.
The usual suspects are in the process of inflating an eerily familiar bubble.
It’s another housing bubble, but this time centered on rental property.
We live in a world full of bubbles just waiting to pop.
We have reported extensively on the stock market bubble, the student loan bubble, and the auto bubble. We even told you about a shoe bubble. But there is one bubble that is bigger and potentially more threatening than any of these.
The massive debt bubble.
America is partying like its 1928 – right before the crash the kicked off the Great Depression. Some analysts believe the next crash is looming on the horizon. What will spark it? That remains to be seen. But no matter what the catalyst turns out to be, Mark Thornton says the cause will be the same as the last several collapses – Federal Reserve policy. Therefore, we should dub it the Bernanke-Yellen Bubble-Depression This article by Thornton was originally published on the Mises Wire.
In a recent article I advocated for a new way of naming business cycles. The new approach emphasizes the cause rather than the effect. So instead of the “housing bubble” and “financial crisis,” we should refer to the Greenspan-Bernanke Crisis. Here we will turn our attention to the current situation.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said the central bank should keep the bubbles inflated.
OK, he didn’t say that exactly. But that was the message reading between the lines of a speech Kaskari delivered this week. Specifically, the Minneapolis Fed president said the Federal Reserve should not raise interest rates in an effort to prevent bubbles.
Given the challenges of identifying bubbles with any confidence and the costs of making a policy mistake, I believe the odds of circumstances ever making sense to use monetary policy to try to slow asset prices down are very low. I won’t say never—but a whole lot of evidence would have to line up just right for it to be the prudent course of action.”
The former Goldman Sachs Group executive was the lone dissenter when the Fed raised interest rates in March.