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Central bankers and the Great White Whale

Summary:
Here’s the Financial Times: Global economy: Why central bankers blinked It’s been 18 years since I read Moby Dick, but I vaguely recall that Captain Ahab made the mistake of anthropomorphizing the white whale.  Ahab had a sort of steely-eyed gaze—and didn’t blink when seeking revenge. Central bankers need to work hard to avoid anthropomorphizing the market.  Better to view market forecasts as a sort of natural force, like wind and waves.  If market forecasts change (as they did late last year), then by all means “blink”.   It’s nothing personal. Tags:

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Here’s the Financial Times:

Global economy: Why central bankers blinked

It’s been 18 years since I read Moby Dick, but I vaguely recall that Captain Ahab made the mistake of anthropomorphizing the white whale.  Ahab had a sort of steely-eyed gaze—and didn’t blink when seeking revenge.

Central bankers need to work hard to avoid anthropomorphizing the market.  Better to view market forecasts as a sort of natural force, like wind and waves.  If market forecasts change (as they did late last year), then by all means “blink”.  

It’s nothing personal.

Central bankers and the Great White Whale

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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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