Why They Stayed Calm and Carried On
By SCOTT SUMNER who is Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Professor of Economics at Bentley University. Follow him at the TheMoneyIllusion.com.
This article was published in Foreign Affairs on November 13, 2016.
To read the entire article please go to: http://fam.ag/2fSMsCE
World financial markets have had an unusual reaction to the unexpected U.S. presidential election victory of Donald Trump: they remained relatively calm and, some might say, even responded positively. Unlike the British pound after the Brexit vote, which tumbled rapidly shortly after, the U.S. dollar, after Trump’s election, actually strengthened modestly against foreign currencies such as the yen, the euro, and the yuan. Interest rates in the U.S. treasury bond market have increased, in both nominal and real terms. Inflation is also expected to increase modestly.
The reaction of global equity markets was perhaps the most surprising of all. U.S. stock futures fell as much as five percent on Tuesday evening, as it became apparent that Trump had all but secured a victory. The behavior was consistent with the pre-election pattern. Whenever polls showed an increased chance of a Trump win, stocks tended to dip (as they did following reports that FBI Director James Comey would be reopening an investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails). But a few hours after Tuesday’s decline, stocks beat expectations and crept back up. By the end of the next trading day, the market was above pre-election levels.
Dr. Allan H. Meltzer is an American Economist and the Allan H. Meltzer professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He is the author of a large number of academic papers and books on monetary policy and the Federal Reserve Bank. Dr. Meltzer’s two volume books, “A History of the Federal Reserve”, are considered the most comprehensive history of the central bank. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the development and application of monetary policy. Currently he is also President of the Mont Pelerin Society. Dr. Meltzer originated the aphorism “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. It doesn’t work.”
This is a monthly column written by Professor Meltzer for Defining Ideas of the Hoover Institution.
It is posted in http://www.hoover.org/research/
In late August, I again spent 3 days with central bankers from all over the world at the annual meeting sponsored by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. The spectacular, scenic beauty at the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, is one of the world’s most beautiful places. The meetings attractions include stimulating discussions of economic policy in addition to the spectacular scenery and wonderful hiking.
This year’s central topic called on participants to discuss ways to improve future monetary policy operations. A major concern is about ability to respond effectively to a recession if the current low interest environment continues. Central bankers have learned to lower interest rates to encourage borrowing in recessions and to raise rates when inflation threatens or occurs. Because interest rates are close to zero in all the developed countries, some market participants fear that central banks will be powerless to act. Chair Yellen tried to reassure them.
Liam Fox is secretary of state for Defence, UK
The Guardian Newspaper, an Opinion
Two hundred and forty years ago, Adam Smith published one of the most important texts ever written. The Wealth of Nations set out his vision of free trade as a pathway to opportunity and prosperity for all; and that in a true open global economy no one need lose out – we all could benefit.
Globalization needs to be championed more vigorously
Yesterday I was in Manchester speaking about why I believe his principles are as much alive and relevant today as they were in the 18th century – despite vastly different trading environments.
We stand on the verge of an unprecedented ability to liberate global trade for the benefit of our whole planet with technological advances, such as the internet and e-commerce, dissolving the barriers of time and distance. And because of the brave and historic decision of the British people to leave the European Union, I believe the UK is in a prime position to become a world leader in free trade.
Globalization represents an acceleration of the trend in which the world has become increasingly compressed, economically, culturally and politically. However, it is becoming increasingly misunderstood and its benefits not championed vigorously enough. While the increased economic activity that globalization has generated has been broadly welcomed by business, politicians have often worried about how the dissolving concepts of sovereignty will affect their ability to influence events, and many have worried about the effects on the world’s most vulnerable people.
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