Friday, September 7, 2007

Why can't the Fed connect the dots?

Wall Street can. Stock traders and bond desks can. So can the CEO's of companies affected by the domestic economy. But the the Fed governors paid by our tax money can't.

I can understand that when we export our junk rated AAA paper to the banks in China and Europe, that China may feel entitled to gives us faulty tires, lead paint toys, and poisoned toothpaste, helped by US corporations making a few extra bucks selling their products. Didn't the brokers and investment banks do the same with the paper they peddled to China? So we get as much junk as we give.

But the Fed bewilders me. We appoint these officials, for 14 year terms but we can't ask them questions? Should we give them black robes also? Why are we beholden to economists, who follow instead of lead, when monetary policy lags? What did we give to get this?

In 1942, Economist Joseph Schumpeter introduced the idea of creative destruction, whereby nimble companies destroyed the value of monopolistic, slow moving corporations. Now we have a nimble, electronic marketplace pricing and trading billions of securities on bits of data, while we have a Fed that's an anachronistic behemoth being dragged kicking and screaming into the real world because it's governed by people who live in textbooks and theories, and play economic experiments with our money.

Today the Fed should have cut rates; now they must cut 50 basis points on the 18th or risk disappointment by the market. The Fed, by trying to become measured, has only become measured in their foolishness.