By Ron Hera:
Hera Research Newsletter (HRN): Thank you for joining us today. You've commented that the Federal Reserve's policies have been linked to past boom and bust cycles in the US economy. Why do you believe that?
Dr. Marc Faber: Booms and busts happen also under the gold standard like we had in the 19th century various railroad and canal booms, and we also had real estate booms, first on the east coast in Chicago, then, at end of the century, in California. What the Federal Reserve has really done is create a lot of economic volatility. If you look back at the various crisis starting with the S&L crisis in 1990, then the Tequila crisis [the Mexican Peso crisis] in 1994, then Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), the NASDAQ bubble and at the current crisis, each crisis actually became worse and worse and the bubbles became bigger and bigger. The Federal Reserve did not pay any attention to excessive credit growth. The reason I am so negative about the Federal Reserve's policies is that they only target core inflation and argue that they can't identify bubbles, but when each bubble bursts they flood the system with liquidity that bring about unintended consequences.
HRN: What would be an example of that?
Dr. Marc Faber: Commodity prices peaked in May 2006 and after May 2006, especially in 2007, where there was actually a slowdown in the global economy and so there was no reason for commodity prices to go ballistic, but the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates after September 2007. In a global economy that was going into recession, the price of oil went from $78 to $147 and that burdened the US consumer with additional "tax" of five hundred billion dollars. I am not saying that is the only reason but it helped push the US consumer into recession. The fact is that without the Federal Reserve's expansionary monetary policy after 2001, we wouldn't have had a housing bubble to the same extent. The Federal Reserve's policies basically encouraged sub prime lending; it's not the case that they discouraged it......read on