by Clint Siegner
The nation’s pre-eminent central planners just held their annual gathering at an exclusive resort just outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming and discussed how to interfere even more deeply in markets. In a speech entitled “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit: Past, Present and Future,” Fed chair Janet Yellen outlined why zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), purchases of toxic mortgage securities, and monetization of Treasury debt just aren’t adequate. Officials must add negative interest rates (NIRP) and purchases of even more sketchy assets to their “toolkit.”
Yellen has spent more than a year floating the idea of negative rates, so it is no surprise she is hustling the ludicrous policy once again. In fact, very little of what she said Friday is new. It was the usual mess of contradictions.