Monday, October 29, 2012

Malinvestment and Regime Uncertainty - John P. Cochran

An excellent article by Mr. John P Cochran titled, "Malinvestment and Regime Uncertainty" - John P. Cochran - Mises Daily.  The current "solutions" provided by the Federal Reserve and The Federal Government are having some adverse outcomes. He provides technical data to support his points.

Here is a key excerpt:

"The more aggregated model of the economy can lead one to misdiagnose the cause of the boom-bust and the slow recovery as aggregate demand shocks requiring continuing doses of monetary or fiscal stimulus. Examples are the Fed commitment to QE infinity, the call from market monetarists for monetary expansion to return nominal GDP growth to its long-term-trend path, or those who erroneously claim the slow recovery is a normal response to a recession accompanied by a financial crisis.[5] A wrong diagnosis of the problem leads to bad policy. Both current monetary policy and proposed renewal of Keynesian fiscal policies run the risk of generating further misdirections of production, which, to the extent they might positively impact employment now, run the risk of generating even higher unemployment in the future."

Chinese Currency Connection

When a politico makes charges of currency manipulation, I am reminded of a sitcom. I understand it is election season, and the motivation is for the candidates is to procure votes. In this process, someone must be to blame for our problems. And, in this case, it is the Chinese.

Currently, both candidates have made statements about Chinese trade policies, and Dr. Don Boudreaux addresses this issue with his "Open Letter to Mitt Romney" In this article, he responds to a charge Mr. Romney is presenting against the Chinese. This charge is that the Chinese would be labeled a "Currency manipulator" if they did not implement "fair" trade practices.

While the Chinese are far from perfect in their trade practices, but who does the devalued Yuan really hurt? Does it hurt the US Consumers or the Chinese citizens?  If the United States decides to place trade tariffs with China, who does that impact? US Consumers or Chinese Citizens?

I applaud Mr. Romney's tough talk against China's practices. To be fair, I am sure Mr. Obama agrees with the notion that China does not do everything perfectly, but protectionist policies ultimately hurt the US Consumer. A devalued Yuan impacts the Chinese citizens with higher prices and inflation all expressed in Yuan. However, this tough talk sounds nice during a Presidential Election season.

0-4 at Bat on the Major Economic Issues

Mr. Kevin M. Warsh from the Hoover Institute discusses the issues surrounding the Fed,2012 Presidential election, and the future of the economy, with an interview here with Larry Kudlow. He also details four major issues that currently are a hindrance to economic growth: Trade Policy, Regulatory Policy, Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy. Currently, in his opinion, the US Government is batting 0-4 on these issues. These issues are key for an economic recovery, and batting 0-4 and placing all the burden on the Fed for improving the economy is not a winning proposition. Mr. Warsh also makes the case that The Fed Chairman regardless of the influence of the President of the United States, the Chairman will still need to seek the votes of the other Fed Governors to move forward on Monetary Policy.