Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monetary policies can produce unintended negative consequences

We both economists and fund managers - usually think more interventions mean better outcomes. We often forget that every experiment and intervention with fiscal and monetary policies can go wrong, produce side effects or lead to additional interventions that themselves can go wrong. 

We have learned this lesson with central planners in the former Soviet Union and in China under Mao Zedong. Despite often repeating the mantra “First, do no harm to the market and to the capitalistic system,” economic decision makers have difficulty with doing less - even nothing. They find it hard to refrain from trying another QE, government spending spree, bailout, new regulation, transfer payments, or outright wealth confiscation through negative interest rates.”