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The Fed Has Not Learnt From The Crisis

In this March 31, 2014 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks to community development professionals at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago. Yellen said Tuesday, April 15, 2014 that the largest U.S. banks might need to hold additional capital to withstand periods of financial stress. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
In this March 31, 2014 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks to community development professionals at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

Steve Keen, FORBES

 
(Forbes)—The Financial Crisis of 2007 was the nearest thing to a “Near Death Experience” that the Federal Reserve could have had. One ordinarily expects someone who has such an experience—exuberance behind the wheel that causes an almost fatal crash, a binge drinking escapade that ends up in the intensive care ward—to learn from it, and change their behaviour in some profound way that makes a repeat event impossible.

Not so the Federal Reserve. Though the event itself gets some mention in Yellen’s speech yesterday (“Normalizing Monetary Policy: Prospects and Perspectives”, San Francisco March 27, 2015), the analysis in that speech shows that the Fed has learnt nothing of substance from the crisis. If anything, the thinking has gone backwards. The Fed is the speed driver who will floor the accelerator before the next bend, just as he did before the crash; it is the binge drinker who will empty the bottle of whiskey at next year’s New Year’s Eve, just as she did before she woke up in intensive care on New Year’s Day.

 

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