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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 1, 2010 / 22 Elul 5770

Bernanke shows off his popguns

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his speech at the Jackson Hole retreat last week, Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to show that the Fed still had plenty of ammunition to fire, if necessary, in the fight for economic recovery. Instead, he demonstrated that all he has are popguns.

According to Bernanke, the Fed could: (1) buy even more stuff, creating even more money out of thin air in the process; (2) change its official statement to indicate an intention to maintain an accommodative monetary policy even longer than the current statement suggests; and (3) reduce the already low interest rate the Fed pays on bank reserves.

The only substantive move would be to buy more stuff. But if creating $2 trillion out of thin air by buying securities hasn't triggered a recovery, why the assumption that doing even more of it will turn the trick?

All of these options would be designed to do what Fed policy to date has been designed to do: lower interest rates. But if lower interest rates were the key to this recovery, we'd all already be driving streets paved with gold.

Bernanke believes that the problem is a lack of consumer confidence. Consumers aren't willing to spend so businesses aren't gearing up to meet a demand that doesn't exist.

The real economic problem, however, is uncertainty. Uncertainty can lead to a lack of confidence, but it is not the same thing. And Bernanke is contributing to uncertainty by indicating that the Fed plans to manage monetary policy based upon quarter-to-quarter economic results rather than for the long-haul.

The economy is awash with cash. Banks and businesses are sitting on trillions of dollars. Business fundamentals are sound. Businesses are profitable and price-earnings ratios are historically low.

If banks are unwilling to lend, interest rates need to be higher, not lower. And lenders need confidence that the dollar will retain its value over time. Despite Europe's recent troubles, the dollar has declined 42 percent compared to the euro over the last decade. The Greenspan-Bernanke period of loose money, which Bernanke pledges to continue, creates lender uncertainty.

Not that there is a big unmet demand by borrowers. They face their own uncertainties.

For there to be a sustainable recovery, the economy must first find solid footing. Yet federal monetary and fiscal policies keep attempting to interrupt the corrections necessary to reach that solid footing, while throwing off new uncertainties all the time.

Here is what is necessary to reach that solid footing, from which a sustainable economic recovery would be possible:


  • The housing correction needs to be allowed to run its course without government efforts to prop up prices or demand.

  • Households need to be allowed to restore and improve their savings without government importuning or incentives to spend, spend, spend.

  • The Fed needs to develop a credible plan to withdraw all the money it created out of thin air and protect the long-term value of the dollar.

  • Congress needs to set tax policy for the next 10 years, not the next two, even if it is in a bad place.

  • The federal government needs to develop a credible plan to reduce spending and borrowing.

Some of this, particularly the last point, isn't likely to happen. But there isn't likely to be a sustainable recovery until federal monetary and fiscal policies become less of a moving target.

If policy is semi-set, economic actors can calculate risks. But if policy is a moving target, risk calculation becomes infinitely harder.

There are still die-hards, unfortunately many in positions of authority, but it should be clear by now that loose monetary policy and deficit spending aren't going to trigger a sustainable economic recovery.

That requires a firmer foundation.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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