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Showing posts from September, 2008

Inanities in a crisis

You aren't smarter than the market. It really is that simple.

The media is filled with plain silly inanities these days as everyone is focused on the crisis du jour on wall street. Here is one that grabbed my eye:

"The Depression itself was a dynamic sequence. It wouldn't have happened if the Fed hadn't insanely tightened credit in response to the stock market crash, rather than the correct policy of easing interest rates."

First, that monetary policy lead to the depression is a highly controversial explanation favored by money-supply ideologues. But the Fed did not have a policy of "tightened credit". They simply couldn't expand the money supply by printing dollars because, at the time, each dollar had to be backed by gold bars at Fort Knox.

Where the government did act to make the problem worse was cutting federal spending in response to reductions in tax revenue. Essentially the folks in charge ran government like a business, cutting expenses in res…