Tag Archives: US Federal Reserve

Money, prices, assets and evasions of responsibility

Understanding the equation of exchange can help see what a massive evasion of institutional responsibility lies behind the Great Recession and the Eurozone crisis. Economist Irving Fisher developed the original algebraic formulation of the equation of exchange, in his The Purchasing Power of Money (1911): MV = PT Money x Velocity = Prices x Transactions. Fisher’s use of […]

Ben Bernanke, the Fed and the Tea Party

Ben Bernanke is not a Tea Party sort of person. An academic appointed as Chair of the US Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) by a Republican President (Bush II) and re-appointed by a Democrat President (Obama) who helped organise the bailout of Wall St in response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), he is the epitome of […]

Bubble trouble: all information is not equal

This post is partly prompted by this comment and this paper (pdf) (via) on the US housing price bubbles and busts and (greatly) extends this comment by myself. It is also a response to the work of mathematician-turned-historian Andrew Odlyzko. In a previous post, I argued that easy monetary policy was not to blame for the asset booms […]

Bubble trouble: not an easy money problem

The notion that “easy money” created asset booms is levelled (famously by Austrian school economists such as von Mises and Hayek) against the 1920s boom and by a range of commentators about the Great Moderation boom. In both cases, the Fed (dominated by Benjamin Strong as New York Fed Governor up to 1928 and by Alan Greenspan as Fed Chair 1987-2006) is held to be to […]

Check your expectations (1) right-wing wimps and left-wing weaponistas

There is a joke in modern American politics–the Republicans want a big defence force they don’t want to use anywhere and the Democrats want a small defence force they want to use everywhere. Implicit in the joke is that the Republicans like military spending and the Democrats don’t. Because the right is “strong” on defence […]

Time enough for success

Skepticlawyer’s excellent post on the GFC examines the financial crisis. The post below is concerned with the time period for monetary policy. While, as I note below, the collapse in total spending clearly worsened the GFC, this post is more about how to avoid or minimise recessions and, particularly, events such as the Great Recession. […]

The misbegotten birth of macro

As folks may have noted, I like graphs; they can be very useful illustrations, particularly of historical trends.  Consider this graph, taken from the 2012 US Federal Budget (via). What is striking is the long-run stability of economic growth in the US, apart from one episode which stands out fairly dramatically. Very dramatically (pdf) given that: […]

Broken by the fix

What do the goldzone Great Depression (1929-3?) and the Eurozone Great Recession (2008-?) have in common? They were both created by European central banks with the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) as accessory during and after the fact. (Yes, the monetary shock which set off the Great Recession started in Europe though the responsibility of the […]

Debt and boom

The slogan for this post is: don’t think debt, think safe assets. (This post is partly provoked by this post by Paul Krugman responded to by Scott Sumner and by Marcus Nunes.) In my Debt, Doom and Despair post I noted that a hugely debt-burdened post-Napoleonic Wars UK (where the national public debt was probably about […]