Saturday, November 14, 2009

Exactly Nothing

"Arrogant and incapable of learning."

When a teacher uses those words to describe a student, it's an isolated (if regrettable) situation. But the repercussions are widespread when "arrogant and incapable of learning" fits the Federal Reserve like a glove.

Frederic Mishkin, a former member of the Fed's board of governors, wrote an article in last Tuesday's Financial Times that displayed that he, and presumably other Fed heads, have learned exactly nothing from the disastrous consequences of their activities in printing money over the past couple of decades.

The headline sort of says it all: "Not all bubbles present a risk to the economy." That is completely false. Any genuine bubble poses great risk, which is why they should be avoided, as I have warned repeatedly since at least 1997.

Meanwhile, when the two biggest bubbles our country had ever seen (those in stocks and real estate) were under way, most people appeared to be incapable of identifying them.