The Definition Of An Unfree Market

Commentary by Guy Haselmann of Scotiabank Unfree A market economy is one based on supply and demand with little or no government control.   Dictionary site ‘Investopedia’ states that “a completely free market is an idealized form of a market economy where buyers and sellers are allowed to transact freely (i.e. buy/sell/trade) based on a mutual agreement on price without state intervention in the form of taxes, subsidies or regulation.”  Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore. After the 2008 financial crisis, regulatory banking rules (i.e. macroprudential policies) conspired with zero (or negative) interest rates and asset purchases to exterminate the markets’ ability to freely calibrate clearing market prices based on supply and demand factors.   It is impossible for central banks to sustain controlling influence on market sentiment, investor behavior, correlations, and valuations, simply because effectiveness wanes over time.  As time passes, central bank stimulus stretches financial asset […] Read More

Nothing Has Changed – And That’s The Problem

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, Playing monetary games has done nothing to eliminate moral hazard. If we step back and look at the past six years since the global financial meltdown of 2008, we see that in terms of financial and political power, nothing has changed–and that’s the problem. If nothing has changed structurally, then none of the problems that caused the meltdown have truly been addressed. All that’s changed is the vast expansion of monetary games has masked the dysfunctional reality that the same old vested interests that had a death-grip on wealth and power in 2008 have tightened their death-grip in the past six years. Here’s the problem facing every nation and trading bloc: 1. Vested interests institutionalized moral hazard, separating their gains from the consequences of taking risks. This is also known as privatized gains, socialized losses: vested interests reaped the gains from risky […] Read More

Tim Geithner Admits “Too Big To Fail” Hasn’t Gone Anywhere (And That’s The Way He Likes It)

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, But it is now clear that Geithner never believed his own talking points. To him, too-big-to-fail and the so-called moral hazard, or safety net, that it would create can’t really ever be fully taken away. During his lecture to Summers’s class, one student asked a question about “resolution authority,” a provision of the reform laws that is supposed to let the government wind down a complex financial institution without creating a domino effect. The question prompted Geithner onto a tangent about too-big-to-fail. “Does it still exist?” he said. “Yeah, of course it does.” Ending too-big-to-fail was “like Moby-Dick for economists or regulators. It’s not just quixotic, it’s misguided.” – From The New York Times Magazine article, What Timothy Geithner Really Thinks Never in a million years did I think I’d ever use an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin as the basis […] Read More