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"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

What's wrong with central long have you got?

In response to an FT View on 19th February 2016, entitled 'Central banks alone cannot conjure growth'

There is so much wrong with Central Banks that it would be easier to identify things that are not - it's useful to have a lender of last resort. 

As for creating jobs, controlling inflation, or any of the other God like qualities they are supposed to possess - they are a waste of space. Their brief is result of decades of mission creep, encouraged by governments whose love of Keynesianism is that it gives them the excuse they need to spend more than their revenue, and whose love of monetarism is that it gives them a printing press to monetise the debt created when Keynesianism goes temporarily out of fashion. 

Having said all that, in their own terms, they did not raise rates too early, they raised rates too late. Why? Because they are still terrified of making the 1937 mistake. If they knew anything about markets, capitalism, human behaviour, psychology or group dynamics they would have raised rates very gently in 2010 when you could say 'we are in a recovery' without holding your nose and crossing your fingers (personally I think history will show a recession started in Q4 2015 but we'll see). They bottled it and they blew it. They spent 5 years blowing an enormous bubble in asset prices, got the casinos hooked on stimulus, spawned a generation of traders who grew up thinking the tooth fairy exists, and generally operated as drug dealer of last resort.

If the Fed makes the mistake of going negative, I think those shiny walls will be penetrated by the sound of angry folks and the scraping of pitchforks on marble. They really are dumb enough to try it though.

I don't think the Central Banking system as we know it will survive the next crisis. Personally I will shed no tears. Apart from the fact that I think their understanding of the real economy is quite pathetic, I think it is a travesty of democracy that so much power is vested in non-elected people drawn from vested interests - I.E. Whatever they say to the contrary, their primary concern is always, and has always, been the banks.

In short, I think they're past their sell-by-date.

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