Economists Are (Still) Clueless
June 15, 2013
Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.
- John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform
There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present.
- John Kenneth Galbraith
Hitler must have been rather loosely educated, not having learned the lesson of Napoleon's autumn advance on Moscow.
- Sir Winston Churchill
US GDP has been slowly ramping up, only to fall back and then try once more to bring us back to the '90s. Stocks markets are volatile but seemingly moving higher in most of the developed world, except for Japan, where the current 20% drop comes hard on the heels of one of their frequent "end of the bear market forever" rallies of almost 90% – how many of those have we seen over the last 24 years? Europe is mostly in recession or Muddling Through with very slow growth. I continue to read from those who know China intimately that there is a real crisis brewing there. And over the last four weeks I have highlighted how desperate the situation is in Japan.
The main obsession in the US seems to be whether and when the Fed may stop its current round of massive QE. Every hint of "tapering" spurs volatility in...