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  • P D Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 25 August 2019 – Economic madness

Updated: May 1, 2020

Monetary policy

The world’s central bankers met recently at a place called Jackson’s Hole. Most sensible people are worrying about the current rash of interest rate cuts, in many cases to zero. This leaves no room for rate cuts when (as is certain) economies slow and enter recession. The USA’s central bank is the one that during America’s long boom raised rates but sadly attracted robust criticism from President Trump. The US Fed has made one rate cut (that not all its staffers or regional Fed presidents agree with) and the only certainty is that President Trump will keep baying.

Australia’s RBA has joined the rate cut game with fears of recession increasing. The RBA is apparently scratching its head to devise new monetary policy innovations, including negative interest rates (a policy that I cannot understand) and a form of ‘Quantitative Easing’ (in which the RBA would buy bonds from private sector owners in exchange for cash, presumably printed by the monetary factory at Craigieburn.)

Global monetary policy is in a jumbled mess, and before long sensible people will be calling for return of the gold standard. Please refer to my 2011 book that notes China is deeply interested in the gold standard and is steadily accumulating gold.

Trade policy

Just about every economist in the world believes that free trade is the best policy for prosperity and unfree policy is a fine product for poverty. President Trump (of course) disagrees, and keeps raising tariffs on Chinese imports to the USA.

Where are the Democrats in all this? If they wish to replace Trump some plausible candidate should begin to attack the president’s economic policies. His attack on the US Fed is unprecedented and his attempts to reintroduce global poverty are outrageous.


Change come fast and change come slow but change come.” Fiona Prior enjoys ‘Caroline, or Change’, a gospel/rhythm and blues musical based in 60's Louisiana and playing in downtown Darlinghurst. More here.

Sporting life

Australia’s Rugby Union team briefly flickered with its wonderful win over NZ in Perth. The return game at Eden Park in NZ reversed Perth’s result and the third game will repeat NZ’s home ground final win. And thus it will go in the coming World Cup.

Australia’s Test cricket team humiliated England by dismissing it for was it really 67 runs? Given a target never before succeeded in a forth innings in England, except once by Don Bradman’s Australia in the distant past.

The Aussie basketball team beat the USA in that stadium in which people spending $1500 per seat could not see anything but the tops of players. A second rate US team, to be sure, but just possibly this is a sign of spring to come.

The footy finals are upon us after a week’s rest. West Coast was beaten by Hawthorn and Footscray flogged whoever they were playing. Either of these teams are capable of winning a grand final from the bottom four, but the heavyweights, Geelong, Brisbane, West Coast, Richmond and with luck Collingwood will provide all the sensible betting.

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