Today’s must-read is the hedge fund manager/economist op-ed letter to Ben Bernanke. The letter comes from the conservative side of The Street and is essentially an exhortation against the purchase of another $600 billion in bonds (QE2).
Here’s an excerpt courtesy of Real Time Economics:
The following is the text of an open letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signed by several economists, along with investors and political strategists, most of them close to Republicans:
We believe the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called “quantitative easing”) should be reconsidered and discontinued. We do not believe such a plan is necessary or advisable under current circumstances. The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment.
We subscribe to your statement in the Washington Post on November 4 that “the Federal Reserve cannot solve all the economy’s problems on its own.” In this case, we think improvements in tax, spending and regulatory policies must take precedence in a national growth program, not further monetary stimulus.
We disagree with the view that inflation needs to be pushed higher, and worry that another round of asset purchases, with interest rates still near zero over a year into the recovery, will distort financial markets and greatly complicate future Fed efforts to normalize monetary policy.
The Fed’s purchase program has also met broad opposition from other central banks and we share their concerns that quantitative easing by the Fed is neither warranted nor helpful in addressing either U.S. or global economic problems.
The letter is signed by hedgies Cliff Asness, Seth Klarman, Paul Singer and Jim Chanos, bank analyst Dick Bove and economists Niall Ferguson, Jim Grant and Michael Boskin, among others.