“With due respect to Martin Feldstein’s economic bona fides, it seems somewhat disingenuous to suggest the Federal Reserve should “Save Low Interest for a Rainy Day” (op-ed, July 27) as if this inefficient monetary-policy tool is an asset to be drawn upon at some future date, similar to a saver’s nest egg…

…According to St. Louis Federal Reserve data, the interest rate charged for overnight bank loans (fed funds) dropped from 5.25% to 0% in the 16 months from September 2007 until January 2009, and this zero-bound rate continued for six years until December 2015. By contrast, the fed funds rate in the six years from Jan. 1, 1979 until Jan. 1, 1985 averaged 11.90%, with a high of 19%. I can think of no area of economics where a tolerance range of 0% to 19% would constitute efficient policy.

Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman observed that “the Fed has given its heart not to controlling the quantity of money but controlling interest rates, something that it does not have the power to do. The result has been failure on both fronts: wide swings in both money and rates.” Friedman couldn’t have imagined, in his wildest dreams, a $4.5 trillion market intervention by the FOMC.”, Mike Smith, Sugar Land Texas, Letters to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2018

Posted on August 14, 2018, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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