The Grumpy Economist: Central bank expansionism

A keynote talk at the FGV EPGE (Brazilian School of Economics and Finance) 60th anniversary conference, program here. Direct link to my talk here (YouTube).  (I start at about 4:00 if you’re impatient). I plan to turn these thoughts in to an essay at some point. All the conference videos here 

The theme: Central banks, and especially the US Fed, are spinning out of control. I trace the history of this expansion, and how little steps taken here and there mushroomed. The decision in 2008 to regulate assets rather than pursue equity-financed banking, and buying huge amounts of assets, are small steps that mushroomed. They are the moment that central banks became the proverbial two year old with a hammer. The end, the natural meaning of “whole of government” approaches, must be the end of central bank independence and their complete politicization. 

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