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Albert Edwards "Fed is a Slave to the S&P 500": Would Kevin Warsh Change That?


Society General's Albert Edwards was at the Bank Credit Analyst annual conference in New York last week.

Also in attendance were Larry Summers, Paul Volcker, and potentially the next Fed Chair, ex Fed-Governor Kevin Warsh.

Edwards' email comments on Warsh and Summers ring a bell with me.

I was the first speaker and afterward I enjoyed listening to every other speaker at the two-day event. Most notable of the outside economics speakers were Paul Volker, Larry Summers, and most significantly for me, ex Fed-Governor Kevin Warsh. Much to my own regret, I had never familiarised myself with the views of Governor Warsh, who was at the Fed from 2006-11, and played a key role in navigating the Fed through the crisis. He got a rousing reception from the BCA audience as he talked a lot of sense – in particular on how the Yellen Fed has lost its way and current policy is deeply flawed. He explained that the Fed has been "captured" by a groupthink of academics led by the 'Secular Stagnation' ideas of his friend, Larry Summers. Rather than admitting they are wrong, this group, who failed to predict the current economic malaise, have constructed this theory to explain why ever more stimulus is required. In particular, Warsh warned that the Fed had become the slave of the S&P.

Summers' relaxed view on the debt build-up, particularly visible in the corporate sector, is in sharp contrast with our own view that this looks set to wreck the US economy.

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