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IPFS News Link • Federal Reserve

David Stockman on Why Money Printing Doesn't Generate Economic Growth

•, by David Stockman

To understand the Fed's culpability for the inflationary disaster afflicting the American economy, it is necessary to start with the Big Lie that underlies all of its destructive machinations: the claim that market capitalism gravitates toward cyclical instability, recession and chronic shortfall from its potential Full Employment path.

From this presumption, there flows an alleged requirement for continuous central bank "stimulus." Deft action by the central banking arm of the state is purportedly needed to compensate for the inherent prosperity-retarding imperfections of the free market.

If Fed policy has actually been reducing cyclical instability and pushing the $21 trillion US economy ever closer to its Full Employment potential, then productivity growth should be rising over time commensurate with the Fed's more aggressive deployment of its "stimulus" policies.

In this context, it should be noted that productivity growth is a purer measure of monetary policy impact than total real GDP growth. That's because the latter is in part driven by long-run demographics and the annual growth of the labor supply.

Productivity growth has exhibited an indisputable decline over the past 72 years, even as Fed policy has become dramatically and chronically more "stimulative." For purposes of analysis, we have divided the 1947–2019 period, when productivity growth averaged 2.14% per annum for the entire period, into three sub-periods which roughly track the progressive ratcheting up of central bank stimulus policy.