Federal Reserve

Photo by Tim Evanson.

PBI Chair Ellen Brown explains in Truthdig why the Fed’s monetary policies  aren’t working and what our central bank should do instead:

“The central bank has become the only game in town, and its hammer keeps missing the nail. A recession caused by a massive disruption in supply chains cannot be fixed through central-bank monetary easing alone. Monetary policy is a tool designed to deal with demand — the amount of money competing for goods and services, driving prices up. To fix a supply-side problem, monetary policy needs to be combined with fiscal policy, which means Congress and the Fed need to work together. There are successful contemporary models for this, and the best are in China and Japan.”

Ellen continues:

“While U.S. markets were crashing, the Chinese stock market actually went up by 10% in February. How could that be? China is the country hardest hit by the disruptive COVID-19 virus, yet investors are evidently confident that it will prevail against the virus and market threats. … Five hundred billion dollars in infrastructure projects have already been proposed [by China] for 2020 — nearly as much as was invested in the country’s huge stimulus program after 2008. The newly injected money will go into the pockets of laborers and suppliers, who will spend it on consumer goods, prompting producers to produce more goods and services, increasing productivity and jobs. …

“The Federal Reserve Act allows it to make three-month infrastructure loans to states, and these could be rolled over for extended periods thereafter. The repo market itself consists of short-term loans continually rolled over. If hedge funds can borrow at 1.5% in the private repo market, which is now backstopped by the Fed, states should get those low rates as well.

“Alternatively, Congress could amend the Federal Reserve Act to allow it to work with the central bank in funding infrastructure and other national projects, following the path successfully blazed by Japan.”

[Read the full article]