Why Does the Federal Reserve Keep Slamming the Panic Button over and over if Everything Is Okay?

What in the world is the Federal Reserve doing?  For months the Fed has been trying to publicly convince us that the U.S. economy is “strong”, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently unequivocally stated that “the Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession”, but the Fed’s actions tell a completely different story. 

Draghi’s Dangerous Farewell

PRINCETON – Mario Draghi risks deepening the eurozone’s problems in the final weeks of his eight-year term as president of the European Central Bank. He has promised that the ECB will reduce interest rates further to spur the eurozone economy. But policymakers have room for only modest rate cuts, which will do little to boost growth – and will put potentially intolerable pressure on the eurozone’s fragile banks. Back in June, Draghi said that the ECB was preparing a new dose of stimulus, including further reductions of its policy interest rate and a renewal of quantitative easing (QE) through purchases of government bonds. And…

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Insists there Won’t Be a Recession when All the Evidence Suggests Otherwise

It’s happening again.  Just like last time around, the head of the Federal Reserve is telling us that there won’t be a recession even though all of the evidence suggests otherwise.  Just before the recession of 2008, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke told the country that “the Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession”, and shortly thereafter we plunged into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  This time, it is Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that is attempting to prop things up by making positive statements that are not backed up by reality.  Speaking to…

Ron Paul: Bill Dudley’s Noble Lie

Former Federal Reserve official Bill Dudley’s recent op-ed calling for the Federal Reserve to implement policies that will damage President Trump’s reelection campaign states that such action would be unprecedented. Dudley claims the Federal Reserve bases its policies solely on an objective evaluation of economic conditions. This is an example of a so-called noble lie — a fiction told by elites to the masses supposedly for the people’s own good, but really designed to maintain popular support for policies that benefit the elites. Dudley’s noble lie is designed to bolster a rapidly (and deservedly) eroding trust in the Federal Reserve.…

No Recession, but Big Policy Task

The economic ghouls may be disappointed that this week’s real GDP read-out for the quarter came without a minus sign. There is no hint of recession. The ‘fiscal stimulus for dummies’ book can go back on the shelf.  But one doesn’t need to be a ghoul to find plenty to worry about in the national accounts details. Although real GDP is still growing, it is not growing enough to match population growth — so real GDP per capita declined slightly in the year to the June quarter. That is another way of saying real living standards are stagnant — which…

Why Does the EU Go On About the ‘Integrity’ of the Single Market When It Has Been Such a Failure?

If you believed the rhetoric, you would accept that the Single Market was a great success. But the truth is that is has failed to deliver on each of the four freedoms. The European Single Market (SM) is the jewel in the crown of the ‘European Project’ with its four freedoms of movement – of goods, services, workers and capital – or so we are told.  Within the SM, all goods and services produced are supposed to satisfy a common set of regulatory standards. This ought to make it easier to export to other member states of the European Union.…

MPs Fears about the Economic Impact of ‘No Deal’ Make No Sense

Those MPs supporting Parliamentary efforts to prevent a ‘No deal’ Brexit largely avoid talking about democracy, independence, and sovereignty, where they are on weak ground. Instead they focus on the “catastrophic” economic damage they expect the UK to suffer if it leaves without a deal. But here too all the evidence suggests they are on equally weak ground Firstly, we need to stress that the very phrase ‘No Deal’ is a complete misnomer. There are already a series of mini deals in place – on issues such as trade facilitation, air travel, citizen’s rights, students, transport, security, – that would…

Six Ways We Can Be Sure Boris Is Serious

It seems increasingly likely that the next leader of the Conservatives, and UK Prime Minister, will be Boris Johnson. On the face of it, this looks like good news for supporters of Brexit given Johnson’s record on this issue and his recent statement that the UK will leave the EU by October 31 ‘do or die’. Yet given the history of the last two years, during which the genuine Brexit envisaged at Lancaster House was watered down to the Brexit in-name-only of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement (WA), Brexit supporters should avoid euphoria and be very cautious. There were key moments…

A New Prime Minister Must End the Treasury’s Anti-Brexit Propaganda Campaign

The UK Conservative party has now begun a search for a new leader, and thus a new British Prime Minister. Who may ultimately land this job is far from clear, but one thing is very clear: any new PM serious about delivering a genuine Brexit must end the anti-Brexit campaign that the UK Treasury has been waging since 2016 – and repudiate the analyses the Treasury has produced to date. The UK Conservative party has now begun a search for a new leader, and thus a new British Prime Minister. Who may ultimately land this job is far from clear,…

Brexit, Accountability and Reform

David Landsman asks how Brexit can help manage the challenges of globalisation and automation in a liberal way. He argues that continued EU membership could result in changes due to globalization being bulldozed through national parliaments without proper and necessary popular consideration. One of the more depressing features of the Brexit debate, especially since the referendum, is the near absence of effort to find arguments which might persuade opponents that they should reconsider their position. Much Remain rhetoric paints Leavers as xenophobes and either idiots or shameless manipulators of idiots; the other way round, Remainers are presented as arrogant elites…

Striking Similarities: The Origins of the European Economic Community

David Blake discusses the Plan for a European Economic Community that was developed at the University of Berlin in 1942. There are striking similarities with the European Economic Community that was introduced in 1957 – and which became the foundation stone of the European Union. A Plan for a European Economic Community was first proposed in 1942 A conference was held in 1942 at the Berlin School of Economics – part of the University of Berlin – on the theme of a creating a ‘European Economic Community’.  Speakers included academics, government ministers and industry practitioners. A conference volume was published. This…

Scrapyard Britain

British Steel, our second largest steelmaker, is to be liquidated following the failure of rescue talks between the government and Greybull, the American private equity firm that manages it. The government would not provide the £30 million loan needed to tide it over (no way of getting round those EU state aid rules, we are told, and since we are to stay in the EU, we must play by the rules) as orders have slumped in the wake of Brexit uncertainty and customer concerns over possible tariffs. 5,000 skilled jobs are at risk, a further 20,000 in the supply chain. Scunthorpe will…

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