Reagan aide warns of bubble, predicts economy will crash
By Bloomberg News
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The economy, fueled by “phony money” from the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policies, is headed for an inevitable crash, likely “within a few years,” warned David Stockman, who was budget director for President Ronald Reagan.
In an essay published on Sunday in the New York Times, Stockman wrote that Fed policies in the aftermath of the financial crisis have flooded stock markets with cash even while the “Main Street economy” remains weak. The combination, he wrote, caused an “unsustainable bubble.”
“When it bursts, there will be no new round of bailouts like the ones the banks got in 2008,” wrote Stockman, a former senior managing director at Blackstone Group LP and a former Republican congressman from Michigan. “Instead, America will descend into an era of zero-sum austerity and virulent political conflict, extinguishing even today's feeble remnants of economic growth.”
Stockman, 66, is the author of “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America,” which will be published on Tuesday.
The Fed, led by Ben S. Bernanke, is purchasing $85 billion in assets every month. The Fed is leaving its key interest rate near zero while it tries to reduce unemployment below 6.5 percent and hold inflation below 2.5 percent.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose to an all-time high last week, closing at 1,569.19 on Thursday. That surpassed the previous record of 1,565.15 set in October 2007. U.S. stock markets were closed for Good Friday.
Among the other culprits Stockman blamed for what he termed a “state-wreck” are President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for weakening the gold standard in 1933, President Richard Nixon for removing the convertibility of dollars to gold and “lapsed hero” Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, for keeping interest rates too low for too long.
Investors will sell, Stockman wrote, at any hint that the Fed is starting to remove assets from its balance sheet.
“Notwithstanding Bernanke's assurances about eventually, gradually making a smooth exit, the Fed is domiciled in a monetary prison of its own making,” he wrote. “These policies have brought America to an end-stage metastasis. The way out would be so radical it can't happen.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Study says regular pot use affects the brain
- 150-plus birds seized at fighting venue in W.Va.
- Probation officer of suspect in slaying of North Allegheny graduate resigns
- Mass. can’t ban painkiller, judge rules
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- Drought uncovers fatal crash scene
- Bankrupt Detroit, retired cops, fire crews agree to deal that saves pensions
- T. rex gets the red-carpet treatment at Smithsonian
- At least 5 women linked to sexual torture case in St. Louis
- Subsitute for Pap smear scorned; overtreatment cited
- Immigration activists threaten Obama, Democrats