Arguments for Quantitative Easing?

posted by Nima

November 21, 2010 · Posted in Monetary Economics 

For the sake of grasping the futility of spending time sifting through politicians’ arguments, I want to point out a prime example.

This is Ben Bernanke on Quantitative Easing:

“The best way to continue to deliver the strong economic fundamentals that underpin the value of the dollar, as well as to support the global recovery, is through policies that lead to a resumption of robust growth in a context of price stability in the United States,”

OK, so this of course means absolutely nothing to any mortal person. Nor is it supposed to. It’s yet another innocuous, dumb, and boring front to pure and simple theft.

On November 4th, after announcing QE2, Bernanke certainly wasted no time to declare victory:

“This approach eased financial conditions in the past and, so far, looks to be effective again. Stock prices rose and long-term interest rates fell when investors began to anticipate the most recent action. Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.”

OK, as you know I would argue that it is simply ridiculous so consider a coerced cheapening of interest rates when people are sick and tired of debt anyway, and a simultaneous increase in the cost of purchasing shares in companies’ profits a success by any means. Furthermore it is even more ridiculous to look at month to month movements to proclaim success or failure of any policy, while disregarding the long term effects that always inevitably ensue!

But let’s forget about that for a second. Let’s measure the immediately proclaimed success by Bernanke’s own standards. Surely if he says that all those measures moved into a desirable direction over the course of a month or so, it would most certainly be undesirable if they moved in the other direction by even more, right??

“Stock prices rose … “

What has happened since Nov 4th with stocks?

sp500-nov-2010

“… long-term interest rates fell …”

What has happened to long term rates since Nov 4th?

treasury-nov-2010

mortgage-nov-2010

“… Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment …”

corporatebonds-nov-2010

OK, so now that all these figures have blown up right in Bernanke’s bearded face, he’s surely going to step up to the plate and admit failure immediately, right?

Just kidding … I’m just posting this as one example as to why you should not spend a second listening to bureaucrats’ arguments that are designed to defend their own policies.

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