Zero-bound money – quality aside – lowers incentives to expand loans and create credit growth. Will Rogers once humorously said in the Depression that he was more concerned about the return of his money than the return on his money.
Earlier this year the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 17,000 for the first time in its long history. We decided to take a look at previous major benchmarks in the growth of the Dow over the years and highlighted what was going on in the markets—and the world.
Politically, 2013 was the year of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. First the GOP followed the direction of Junior Senator Ted Cruz (R Tex.) down a dark alley in a fight they were guaranteed to lose, and, then with the GOP on the ropes, the President and his team botched the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act website. In the markets all eyes were on Federal Reserve mainly because Congress abdicated all responsibility for moving the economy forward to Ben Bernanke, who finally signaled the beginning of the end of QE3.
Provided the economy performs as well as Federal Reserve policymakers expect, the Fed will phase out large-scale asset purchases within the next 10 months. That’s a big “if” of course. The Fed has been projecting a stronger recovery each of the last four years, only to see growth average around a tepid 2%.
The Wall Street Journal is on the hard-money side of the debate over recent monetary policy. But its editorial on the departure of Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve articulated a conventional wisdom that transcends that debate.
Ben Bernanke recently said the Fed is not overly concerned at the moment that there are bubbles forming in the financial system, although he stressed the Fed is “watching vigilantly” for such risks. Based on the Fed’s track record, there would be no bubbles if they had that foresight.