►Richmond Fed’s Lacker Wants High Threshold For More Fed Action
Jon Hilsenrath/Wall Street Journal
“Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, sees modest growth in 2011, little change in inflation and little to spur the Fed to take new actions to support the economy.”
►IMF Meetings Should Target Double-Dip Risk
Mohamed A. El-Erian (Pimco)/Bloomberg
“Many topics are being teed up for next month’s annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, a gathering that will draw about 190 country representatives. There is a substantial risk of disappointment, one that would be detrimental to the welfare of billions around the world over time.”
► Killing Keynesianism?
J.T. Young/Washington Times
“Is the recession’s great irony that government spending killed Keynesianism? With economists, bankers and investors perplexed over the economy’s continued funk, we cannot be blamed for looking in odd places for answers. Could it possibly be that continuously increasing spending over eight decades has left little ability for government spending to affect the economy?”
►Macroeconomic and Financial Policies Before and After the Crisis
Barry Eichengreen/Conference on Global Economic Crisis
“…we will be debating the causes and consequences of the 2007-10 advanced-country financial crisis for years. Evaluations will continue to evolve along with events, no doubt, but it is not too early to begin drawing some provisional conclusions.
First, while this crisis, like all crises, had multiple causes, at its center were problems of
lax supervision and regulation. It is appropriate therefore that post-crisis efforts, both in the United States and at the level of the G20, should focus on regulatory reform. Unfortunately, accomplishments here are less than meet the eye. In the U.S., nothing has been done to downsize big banks.”
►What is to be done?
Russ Roberts/Café Hayek
“We are in the mess we are in because of a combination of policy mistakes–artificially low interest rates, housing policy that distorted the construction industry and the price of housing, and implicit and explicit promises to honor the losses of bad financial bets. When you do those things, you can come to a bad end. It would be great to think that the housing market and the financial sector can be repaired without pain. I don’t know how to do it and I don’t think anyone does. It would be great to have a theory of what creates confidence in the future. We don’t have a theory of what creates confidence.”
►Currency Intervention Madness
Mike Shedlock/Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis
“Both China and Japan are intervening in the Forex markets for the same reason, to strengthen exports and stimulate the economy.
Pardon me for asking the obvious question but it needs to be asked: Why does Geithner give the green light for Japan to intervene in the currency markets but China is threatened with a currency manipulator label for doing the same thing?
►Just don’t call it stimulus
“Business groups and Republicans have pummelled Barack Obama of late as a populist demagogue whose policies have failed to stimulate growth while blanketing companies with stifling uncertainty about taxes and regulation. This week Mr Obama unveiled a trio of proposals that look to have been designed less to power up the economy than to parry such attacks.”