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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Palin vs Bernanke

Now this is unexpected: the Wall Street Journal praises Sarah Palin's economic acumen:
It would be hard to find two more unlikely intellectual comrades than Robert Zoellick, the World Bank technocrat, and Sarah Palin, the populist conservative politician. But in separate interventions yesterday, the pair roiled the global monetary debate in complementary and timely fashion.

The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Stressing the risks of Fed "pump priming," Mrs. Palin zeroed in on the connection between a "weak dollar—a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market"—and rising oil and food prices. She also noted the rising world alarm about the Fed's actions, which by now includes blunt comments by Germany, Brazil, China and most of Asia, among many others.

"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings," the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee said. "We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track."
Of course, the Wall Street Journal doesn't consider Ron Paul a "major Republican", but he's the only national politician in either party, with the possible exception of his son, who fully groks what is at stake here. Still, it's interesting to see that Palin clearly has some reasonably astute advisors on her staff. And it is downright astonishing to see a major player in global banking come right out and endorse "the barbarous relic".

Bernanke must be sweating bullets these days. What people tend to forget to take into account when they imagine there are no limits to quantatitive easing is that in order for the Federal Reserve to monetize the debt, the Treasury has to issue it. So, it increasingly looks as if there may be an epic clash between the Fed and the Republican House majority in the works and it's a little surprising to see Sarah Palin stake out a position against the bank.

On a related note, Business Insider has a good article explaining how the Fed's debt-monetizing has pumped up the stock market and why that is going to make the next downturn a sizable crash. It's interesting to see how much it looks like my Limits of Demand chart.

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