Trump lashes out at the Fed but let's get one thing straight.

in trump •  26 days ago


It's clear that some have latched on to the political notion of opposing the Federal Reserve while skipping over all the actual monetary policy details that form the basis of that view. Thus you get people who are ostensibly hard-money Austrian School inflation hawks cheering on Trump when he lashes out at the Fed.

The classic Austrian Business Cycle Theory case against central banks is that they hold interest rates artificially low, create inflation, and this leads to the misallocation of resources that causes the boom and bust cycle. That's exactly what Trump is demanding more of. He's an inflationist. He wants easy money and artificially low interest rates. He wants to keep the bubble going and make it worse. He's mad at the Fed because Powell is refusing to do that, and is instead raising interest rates to try to keep inflation low.

Perhaps an analogy can help clarify it: most libertarians have long been critical of congressional abdication of war powers. Now imagine you had a congress that was trying to reclaim its war powers, and the pro-war president lashed out at them for it (see: what just happened in the Senate regarding Yemen). "Hell yeah, Congress sucks!" as a response from anti-war folks would be totally missing the point and picking the wrong side in that debate.

That's what it looks like when you claim to be an Austro-libertarian hard-money goldbug who hates the Fed, and then cheer on Trump because he's saying mean things about the Fed. Yes, he is... because he wants the Fed to be worse, not better.

Monetary policy is difficult and nuanced and complex. I have a hard time following all the ins and outs of it, and I couldn't really debate whether the Austrians or the monetarists or any other school are correct. I'm not an economist by any means, and I try to defer to people who know a lot more about it than I do. But if you're going to define opposition to inflation in the Austrian tradition as central to your political worldview, it's probably a good idea to be able to distinguish which side in a policy debate is advocating more inflation.

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The game is bent and unfortunately it’s not going to end well for most. Thanks mike

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Inflation is a tricky one to solve. It is important understand what is causing it. Is it demand push or cost pull? If it is demand push, then we need to know what is causing the increase in demand, is it temporary or permanent? If it is cost pull, what is causing the increase in costs, i.e labour, imports, Government policy, shortages of raw material etc.

Monetary policy, is very broad in that affects inflation, employment, national income. It is also effects all sectors and is not targeted. Management of debt is also affected by interest rates. People will argue that raising interest rates will not have a huge impact because interest rates were a lot higher in the past. In the past, household debt was not anywhere near as high as it is today. See graph below.

0062_household-debt-full.gif

Note: it has got a little better but still very high.

Credit is too easily available and people have got used to being able to get what they want, when they want it.

This isn't a good excuse to not raise interest rates if they are too low. The longer interest rates are left low, the greater the excuse for not raising them as the impact on households is going to be greater (unless the current downward trend continues).

Here is a graph of household debt in Australia. I think it probably demonstrates my point a little better.

household-debt-to-disposable-income-()-data.jpg