Federal Reserve Policies Cause Booms And Busts, by Richard M. Ebeling
Federal Reserve Policies Cause Booms And Busts (read here at mises.org), is a fantastic article by Richard M. Ebeling, explaining what happens when central banks, like the Fed, intervene in the economy. Electronically printing counterfeit money and artificially lowering interest rates are the tools the Fed uses to “improve” the economy. The Fed may pay lip service to the free market, but the policy makers at the Fed truly don’t like the outcome resulting from the voluntary decisions individuals make in the free market. If they did, they wouldn’t intervene after the fact to try to exchange what they want the economy to look like, for what actually exists as a result of what each individual decides to produce, consume, save, and exchange.
Their tools of intervention, electronically printing counterfeit money and artificially lowering interest rates, send false information through the market. People in the market start to make decisions on what to produce, consume, save, and exchange based on this false information. The structure of the production process has no anchor to reality and the result is distortions and malinvestment. Scarce resources are allocated to areas of the economy that can’t be sustained unless ever-increasing amounts of electronically printed counterfeit money is pushed into the economy. The economic forces of supply and demand are always trying to reach equilibrium (balance). These economic forces, that are trying to correct the interventions of the central planners, will eventually win.
HERE ARE SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE
“In the free market, interest rates perform the same functions as all other prices: to provide information to market participants; to serve as an incentive mechanism for buyers and sellers; and to bring market supply and demand into balance. Market prices convey information about what goods consumers want and what it would cost for producers to bring those goods to the market.”
“Market rates of interest balance the actions and decisions of borrowers (investors) and lenders (savers) just as the prices of shoes, hats, or bananas balance the activities of the suppliers and demanders of those goods...”
“…There is one crucial difference, however, between the price of any other good that is pushed below that balancing point and interest rates being set below that point. If the price of hats, for example, is below the balancing point, the result is a shortage;”
“…In contrast, in the market for borrowing and lending the Federal Reserve pushes interest rates below the point at which the market would have set them by increasing the supply of money on the loan market. Even though savers are not willing to supply more of their income for investors to borrow, the central bank provides the required funds by creating them out of thin air and making them available to banks for loans to investors. Investment spending now exceeds the amount of savings available to support the projects undertaken”
“…The twin result of the Federal Reserve’s increase in the money supply……is an emerging price inflation and an initial investment boom…”
“…The boom is unsustainable because the imbalance between savings and investment will eventually necessitate a market correction when it is discovered that the resources available are not enough to produce all the consumer goods people want to buy, as well as all the investment projects borrowers have begun.”
“Interest rates, like market prices in general, cannot tell the truth about real supply and demand conditions when governments and their central banks prevent them from doing their job. All that government produces from its interventions, regulations, and manipulations is false signals and bad information. And all of us suffer from this abridgement of our right to freedom of speech to talk honestly to each other through the competitive communication of market prices and interest rates, without governments and central banks getting in the way.“
Related Article – The Role Of Interest Rates In A Market Economy, by austrianaddict.com.
Related Article – Thomas Woods Explains The Austrian Business Cycle Theory, by austrianaddict.com.
Related Article – Counterfeiting By The Federal Reserve, Although Legal, Still Results In Theft, by austrianaddict.com.
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