"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Morning Metrics

There aren't any today. At least not on the Econoday economic calendar.
So, uhm. Yeah.
Oh, wait. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has delivered remarks at the Banque de France Financial Stability Review Launch Event. You can read the text of the speech on the website of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The title of the speech is "Global Imbalances: Links to Economic and Financial Stability", and - from my quick reading of the text - it is on the problems that can arise if some nations have a tight monetary policy and others have a loose monetary policy. He reflects on the breakdown in the US financial system, the way that breakdown was partially caused by an influx of capital from emerging markets (which in turn caused the financial breakdown to spread to those emerging markets). He then states that "...our collective challenge is to reshape the international monetary system to foster strong, sustainable growth and improve economic outcomes for all nations. Working together, we need to clarify and strengthen the rules of the game, with an eye toward creating an international system that more effectively supports the simultaneous pursuit of internal and external balance. To achieve a more balanced international system over time, countries with excessive and unsustainable trade surpluses will need to allow their exchange rates to better reflect market fundamentals and increase their efforts to substitute domestic demand for exports. At the same time, countries with large, persistent trade deficits must find ways to increase national saving, including putting fiscal policies on a more sustainable trajectory. In addition, to bolster our individual and collective ability to manage and productively invest capital inflows, we must continue to increase the efficiency, transparency, and resiliency of our national financial systems and to strengthen financial regulation and oversight."
I'm not certain that I agree with his conclusions - I'm much more Austrian school in my attitudes towards economic theory. I don't think that Chairman Bernanke is all that concerned with my lack of agreement, though. Particularly since I'm not an economist So rather than present my own opinions, I'll let John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek battle out the pros and cons of their competing economic theories. Enjoy.

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