Stephen Roach Explains How The Fed Is Pulling The Wool Over Our Eyes
"Bernanke is betting the ranch on open-ended QE and zero interest rates and it worries me" is how Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley starts this must-see reality-check interview with Bloomberg TV's Tom Keene. The reason for his concern is simple, the current Fed modus operandi is a framework for rescuing economies in crisis but does little to sustain economic recovery. Roach agrees with Cal's Eichengreen that the European and US central banks are indeed in a policy trap, committed to a path of action that has to be perpetually ante'd up to maintain the dream. With Europe in recession already in his view, Roach does not expect the tough structural action until we see greater social unrest or overwhelming unemployment and reminds us of how close we got when Greece threatened the referendum in the late summer. He goes on to discuss China (positive on their efforts and 'solid strategy') and it's relative success as a regime which he contrasts with our "central bankers who pull the wool over our eyes with ZIRP and magical QE". Taking on the mistakes of Greenspan, letting capitalism go unchecked, and his incredulity at the 'glide-path' charts we were treated to yesterday by the Fed's bankers ('accountability'), Roach sees the painful process of deleveraging from excess debt, insufficient savings, and over-consumption as likely to take a long time as we should not assume investment will be the driver as Obama goes 'protectionist' (in the SOTU) on our 3rd largest export partner - yes, China.