David Einhorn knocks it out of the park with his very first statement during today’s Buttonwood Gathering, in a segment dedicated to one thing only: explaining how the Fed’s policies are not only not helping the economy, they are now actively destroying this country.
“Sometimes you have to look at what is the base assumption. because sometimes you have a groupthink around the base assumption and everybody agrees to the same thing and acts reflexively and doesn’t really challenge what is going on. I think we have reached that point with the monetary policy. The assumption is that if you want the economy to improve, if you want more jobs, if you want more consumption, what we need is ever-easing monetary policy. My point is that if one jelly donut is a fine thing to have, 35 jelly donuts is not a fine thing to have, and it gets to a point where it’s not a question of diminishing returns but it actually turns out to be a drag. I think we have passed the point where incremental easing of Federal policy actually acts as a headwind to the economy and is actually slowing down our recovery, and I am alarmed by the reflexive groupthink of the leaders which is if we want a stronger economy, we need lower rates, we need more QE and other such measures.”
And that, in a nutshell is it: everything else follows.
touching on the previous point of why theoretical economists’ views differ so much from those who practically make a living by being right for a change, Einhorn is laconic: “It’s very hard for economists with models, with very limited sample sets and empirical data to understand [that we’ve gone beyond the point of monetary policy diminishing returns.] I think you wind up with a different view from people like me in the real world who aren’t just trying to figure out what do the models say, but how do people actually behave…. We’ve opened up enormous tail risks of what happens if the Fed loses control, what happens if the Treasury loses control and these scare people and drive up risk premiums, and drive down P/E multiples and make companies defer long-term investments in the country because they are worried about significant tail risks these very aggressive policies are creating.”And there you have it – someone please advise Paul Krugman and his cotterie of useless voodoo shamans whose only recommendation has always been more of the same. Pardon: much, much more.
So who should listen to: a failed historian-economist who has never worked in the real world, who has no idea how human behavior plays out in reality, who has lived in an ivory tower all his life, and who has never had to put his money where his mouth is, or a self-made billionaire? For us the choice is clear.