Wrong turn

It’s not quite a thousand years ago, but the principle still holds. As far back as 1810, the Bullion Committee in Britain acknowledged that economic central planning, and control of the money supply by way of interest rates, was essentially impossible:

The most detailed knowledge of the actual trade of a country, combined with the profound Science in all the principles of Money and circulation, would not enable any man or set of men to adjust, and keep always adjusted, the right proportion of circulating medium in a country to the wants of trade.

Sadly, it is the curious fate of every generation to forget the lessons learned by those that preceded it. So the press have seized on two recent events – the microscopic base rate hike that the Bank of England has just delivered after a decade of near-zero rates; and the nomination of Jerome Powell for next Federal Reserve chairman – as if they meant something. If these announcements have any significance, it is that the mainstream media are still in thrall to the unelected central banking technocrats whose easy money policies culminated in the Global Financial Crisis, and these same media are philosophically unable, or unwilling, to challenge the primacy of central planning and directed markets – or the perverse idea that easy money, having triggered a credit crisis, is at one and the same time the solution to it. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. Or intelligence.

Wrong turn