Cain and Moore will do what Trump tells them to do, even if it means undermining the independence of the Fed. Cain has his defenders, who point to his brief stint as governor of the Kansas City regional Federal Reserve Bank as qualification for a more important appointment. Or something. Of course, to object to the appointment of people like Cain and Moore is to risk the usual charges of Trump Derangement Syndrome , the accusation that a personal dislike for the president leads to reflexive dismissal of anything he does or says.
But if opposing such nominations is a sign of this syndrome, a lot of it is going around. Read: Why Trump is thriving in an age of distrust. As usual, this profile in courage was offered anonymously, but it speaks to the essential truth that politicization is the opposite of expertise and can lead to disaster. And without courage and the willingness to speak the truth to power, expertise—even if Cain and Moore had more of it—means nothing.
The United States has plenty of politicization of expertise already. This is a hazard of democracy, in which neither the public nor their elected leaders want to be told things they do not like. We have multiple, tragic examples, from Vietnam to the Great Recession, of the toll taken when policy makers bend experts to their will by demanding the right answers in the service of a political agenda. Deforming expertise and displacing experts for personal interest are rarer and even more dangerous. It is one thing to rely on experts who will sometimes make errors in good faith, and who can—and should—be held accountable for their bad judgment.
Same thing with the Dollar. The Dollar has been reliably stable for basically four years. There was a little bit of variation, but the dollar index has been in the mid to top of the nineties most of the time. Also, gold hardly moves around.
Worse by far synonyms. Top synonym for worse by far (other word for worse by far) is even worse. Far worse synonyms. Top synonym for far worse (other word for far worse) is even worse.
The only thing which is really changing is that the economy is slowing down, and the price of oil has been going up. I think US stocks are still in a bear market. But one thing which is important for success in investing is what I call trade location: putting the odds on your side. Where do you see US stocks at the end of ?
But now, given the setup in place, I feel like the short-term top is very close and maybe has already occurred. Once again, investors are betting on the central banks to bail them out when things get dicey.
What are your thoughts on monetary policy ten years after the financial crisis? The central banks have always been able to set short term interest rates. But now, they peg long-term interest rates as well at any level they want and that creates malinvestment all over the system.
Even ten-year bonds are yielding negative in Switzerland, and sometimes in Japan and Germany. When interest rates are negative, there is no reason to own these bonds whatsoever.
That means money finds its way into speculation or real estate or venture capital development. The danger of this is that if the central banks ever stop trying to peg the rates, the consequences of all the malinvestment will be revealed. Yet, the central bankers seem to be confident that their unconventional measures are working.
There is an old saying that someone has a tiger by the tail. In other words: they think they have the situation under control, but when they let go, the tiger will maul them and kill them.
There is almost no way out of the situation they have created. As these radical policies have incrementally been implemented, they open the door for acceptance of the next increment of radical policies. Here in the US, there is growing support for candidates trying to get the Democratic nomination by promising to give people money.
One of them is Andrew Yang, a tech guy out of Silicon Valley. To which I say: why stop there? That would eliminate all wealth inequality.
We could pay off the national debt and have every single person be equally wealthy. Of course, the illogic here is that giving people monetary computer credits doesn't create anything. Everything is exactly the same except you now have stolen the wealth of everybody who saved and earned it and you have a depression-like anarchic system. There is also a lot of talk about Modern Monetary Theory. What are your thoughts on this idea? So, I have to believe that there is some connection between zero interest rates, enormous growth of debt and the lack of economic success.
These ideas may be intended to create a better society with more fairness and opportunity, but a lot of them have the opposite effect and are distracting from the real problems. What are the real problems? In the United States, the roads are falling apart, bridges are collapsing and many airports are third world quality. California for instance, has gone from ten million to forty million residents without doing anything in terms of water projects or expanding the freeway system.
What are the consequences of this situation? One has to look at this in sort of disbelief. But in reality, we continue to move in an accelerating pace towards a dysfunctional economic system. It will be interesting to see just how extreme the policy reactions are to the next economic downturn, because it was the last recession that brought in these.
What could such measures look like?
The next downturn will massively expand the federal deficit. This means that the amount of bonds which would need to be issued would also be massive. So on natural market forces, interest rates would have to go up on long-term bonds. This would make a severe recession even worse. So, it's possible that the Federal Reserve will aggressively emulate the Bank of Japan and maybe own every single treasury bond.
How surprising is it to you that long-term yields are still quite low despite the rapid growing debt? Interest rates should be higher based on what is going on structurally in the market and based on what the Fed said it was going to do. In December, the Fed said it was going to keep on with quantitative tightening, no matter what. Then the stock market fell apart, and within weeks, the Fed in a fairly spectacular way completely changed its guidance in terms of rate hikes and quantitative tightening.
They abandoned their forward guidance for before even began. Yet, on Wall Street everybody is happy that we are not going to have these economic stresses anymore. Bond yields have come down some as well in celebration of less quantitative tightening which means fewer bonds in the market. Some investors are even expecting interest rate cuts now. What will the Fed do next? In the United States, interest rates are likely to go up in the next downturn if market forces are allowed to prevail. But the Fed could very well resume quantitative easing.
They already have begun talking about it. While nominal GDP is at 5.
So, we live in a world where a lot of people are changing the rules. A downturn could happen right at the same time as the presidential elections. Who will win in ?