After months of assuring the world that the Federal Reserve would soon be ending its zero rate interest policy, the FOMC blinked on Thursday. Citing “[r]ecent global economic and financial developments,” the Federal Reserve decided to further postpone the inevitable pain that will come from taking away the financial punch bowl.
While the decision may have shocked few Fed followers, Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute, reminds us to not lose perspective of what the Fed’s decision really means for the world’s economy:
After so many years of the “new normal,” we have to be reminded just how extraordinary — and unprecedented — the Fed’s actions since 2008 have been. But does it not occur to bankers, much less the media breathlessly covering stock and bond markets, that these actions have set America on a hopelessly dangerous and unsustainable path? Or that placing so much economic power in the hands of a select few might not end well?
Appearing on Bloomberg TV shortly after the Fed’s announcement, Ron Paul also skewered the very notion of a world so dependent upon a central bank:
The whole idea that one person or twelve people might know what the interest rate should be is preposterous. … There is never going to be a “right thing” to do because it is absolutely impossible for individuals to calculate the right answer. You can’t plan an entire economy by manipulating interest rates.
Our guest this week on Mises Weekends is Patrick Barron, a professor of economics and a student of global currency markets. Patrick and I dissect the Fed’s big announcement this past week not to raise interest rates, and consider whether Janet Yellen and other central bankers really believe in what they’re doing. Is it all just to save themselves from the judgment of history, by kicking the can down the road? Have they read, or even considered, Austrian arguments on money and banking? Or are they simply so wedded to Keynesian orthodoxy that they literally don’t know what else to do? And what type of precipitating events might spell the end of US dollar imperialism?
And in case you missed any of them, here are this week’s featured Mises Daily articles and some of our most popular articles at Mises Wire:
In Thrall to the Federal Reserve by Jeff DeistGovernments Give Migrants a Disastrous Mix of Social Welfare and Bureaucracy by Justin MurrayProgressive-Era Economics and the Legacy of Jim Crow by William L. AndersonThe Fallacy of "Buy Land — They’re Not Making Any More" by Peter St. OngeVote with Your Feet: Free States Are Happier and Richer by Gabriel OpenshawTime to Raise Interest Rates by Randall G. HolcombeQuo Vadis, Federal Reserve? by Paul-Martin Foss