Fed Official: Climate Change is an ‘International Market Failure’

Lambert here: Short capitalism? But how?

By Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and columnist for Grist, covering climate science, policy, and solutions. He has previously written for the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and a variety of other publications. Originally published at Grist.

Climate change was already worrying enough — now a report from the U.S. central bank cautions that rising temperatures and extreme storms could eventually trigger a financial collapse.

A Federal Reserve researcher warned in a report on Monday that “climate-based risk could threaten the stability of the financial system as a whole.” But possible fixes — using the Fed’s buying power to green the economy — are currently against the law.

Glenn Rudebusch, the San Francisco Fed’s executive vice president for research, ranks climate change as one of the three “key forces transforming the economy,” along with an aging population and rapid advances in technology. Climate change could soon hit the banking system “by storms, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme events” making it harder for businesses to repay loans.

Rudebusch warns that crops and inundated cities have already started to hurt the economy: “Economists view these losses as the result of a fundamental market failure: carbon fuel prices do not properly account for climate change costs,” he writes. “Businesses and households that produce greenhouse gas emissions, say, by driving cars or generating electricity, do not pay for the losses and damage caused by that pollution.”

A hefty carbon tax alone wouldn’t be enough to fix the problem — what he calls an “intergenerational and international market failure.”

Since Congress has yet to take sufficient action, Rudebusch says that the Fed could, in theory, take matters into its own hands by encouraging a shift away from fossil fuels. The problem is, the Fed’s only official job is to keep inflation tame and unemployment low. And its tools are limited to buying and selling government debt to tweak interest rates.

That means it can’t help companies make a shift to a low-carbon economy by, for instance, lending them money in the bond market. By contrast, the European Central Bank has been buying “green” bonds since 2016. An ECB research note last July found that those purchases have helped boost the market for these kind of investments, helping spur environmental improvements.

Along with a report last week from the insurance industry saying that climate change could eventually make insurance unaffordable for most people, Rudebusch’s report is part of a growing body of evidence that climate change poses an existential threat to the world economy as it currently exists.

Last month, Fed chairman Jerome Powell told legislators that asking why the Fed doesn’t currently consider the risks of climate change was a “fair question.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

50 comments

  1. divadab

    It’s good that officials are speaking publicly on this subject. Strange as it seems, this is a positive step in an environment of widespread corporate-sponsored denialism. And it is outside the powers of the Fed to interfere – Climate change mitigation requires political and social action.

    Anyway, it seems to me that people are making changes on their own, to the extent they can in our fossil-fueled economy. It’s hard to buck the system and in my considered and sad opinion it will take cascading catastrophes to force the changes that are required to de-fossil fuel our economy. Miami under 6 ft of water with a million hurricane deaths will catch even the dullest Faux news watcher’s attention.

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      Yep, we are still in recognizing the problem phase. A big finantial loss migth be a driver for changes in Fed mandates.

      Reply
    2. John Wright

      The problem may be once this threshold (“Miami under 6 ft of water”) is reached, there might be no stopping cascading effects of even greater magnitude.

      There is one nation in the world that is not adding CO2 to the atmosphere, that is tiny Bhutan, population 826,229. So the rest of the world has a long way to go to approach Bhutan’s efforts.

      If one looks at how the world has solved prior problems (world wars, man in space, food supply, transportation) it has come from expending even more energy, usually by burning hydrocarbons.

      Given that humanity has had one go-to play in its prior playbook, expend more energy, usually via hydrocarbons, I suspect that the first response of many locales to ameliorate climate change effects will be to use even more fossil fuel, if available, to counter its effects.

      To me, de-fossiling of the world wide economy to a significant enough extent, seems very unlikely to arrive in time.

      Reply
    3. rd

      Federal disaster funding, subsidized flood insurance, and crop insurance means that “The Market” can’t be effective in driving change regarding the causes of the disasters. The costs are being socialized across the entire society without being identified as such.

      There are numerous areas that would have been depopulated by now except that the government funds their reconstruction. The private insurers are generally not playing a role in those areas and if they did, the prices would be much higher for areas with high risk making it uneconomic to remain there.

      So we are left with a system replete with numerous moral hazards and no market capability to address them until the costs become so outrageously high that the US voters revolt at the polls.

      Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Faux News audience is not the only audience out there.

      Pat Robertson’s Seven Hundred Club also has an audience out there.

      Pat Robertson teaches that ” Miami under 6 ft of water with a million hurricane deaths’ is a Sign of the End Times and means that The Rapture is getting ever closer. Pat Robertson literally told his audience in exactly so many words that Global Warming is part of God’s End Times and that trying to work against Global Warming is literally doing Satan’s work on Earth, because Satan opposes Global Warming.

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        Mainstream economists’ worship of “growth uber alles” strikes me as a secular-religious analog of Robertson’s crazypants-ness. And of the 2 kinds of zealots the economists are the more dangerous, because they’ve been setting the economic and industrail policies of the neoliberal world order.

        Reply
        1. RepubAnon

          Ever-expanding growth (“growth uber alles”) is a form of Ponzi scheme. Physics tells us that there are fixed amounts of everything (First Law of Thermodynamics). Just as the giant trust fund created by Great-Grandpa can eventually run dry if expenditures exceed income, so too can growth based on non-renewable energy sources and raw materials.

          Indeed, we’re seeing the impact of scarcity now – it’s why fascism is on the rise worldwide. When things get scarce, folks no longer want to share.

          Reply
    5. Roger Boyd

      The problem is that it is impossible to grow the economy while cutting emissions at the rate required, and all financial assets are dependent upon future growth (shares, bonds, loans, patents etc.). Action has now been put off for so long that we are damned if we do (collapsed financial asset prices due to the acceptance of no future growth or degrowth) and damned later if we don’t (climate change driven collapse).

      The logical way out for those in power is to go the geoengineering route to protect big fossil fuel interests, and all the growth interests (including many people’s pension plans): Solar Radiation Management, Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage, massive amounts of Enhanced Rock Weathering and Direct Air Capture. They may not save society, but they will keep the growth engine going for a while and deliver lots of juicy profits for the very industries that helped create the problem.

      Not a happy thought, but where it does seem that we will be going.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        “Solar Radiation Management” probably means filling up a narrow layer of Upper Atmosphere with minute little sulfuric acid droplets to reflect a bunch of sunlight back into space before it hits Earth surface.

        But less incoming solar radiation means less solar radiation available to drive less photosynthesis to power less Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage. It all dead-stops with Solar Radiation Management.

        As we freeze and starve and die, beneath a silver-yellow sky.

        Reply
  2. John

    My preference for the weather gods of chaos is to take Palm Beach first, return it to being a low lying sand bar. Oh, and Rush and Don and the kids shelter in place.

    Reply
  3. Bob

    What bull –

    We are told the FED can do nothing since it’s purview is only employment levels and buying and selling federal debt. So children go to bed and sleep soundly there is nothing to be done.

    Could the FED not use it’s power to create government energy bonds to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels ?

    The funding could support energy efficiency improvements, using the dams already in place to generate power – at least a dozen coal fired plants could be replaced, funding LED lighting projects (some 20% of the country’s electrical load is lighting) , capturing methane presently vented from sewage treatment plants and land fills not to mention feed lot operations, DOE’s wind 2020 study shows that much of the electricity used in the US could be generated by wind farms.

    And no we don’t need nukes.

    The fact is that a switch towards efficient use of energy is constrained by interests who see a threat to their cash flow.

    We know how to reduce green house gas emissions. It is a matter of funding and political will.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      I think that the Fed also has a “financial stability” mandate and I would like to think that the governors are clever enough to notice how climate change will threaten financial stability.

      Reply
      1. Kris Alman

        The myth of an “efficient market place” doesn’t account for the positive feedback loops of climate change–which in turn drive up negative externalities when climate disasters occur and ecosystems collapse.

        Yet these negative externalities, based on consumption, also fuel our GDP. (System Failures: Gross Domestic Product and Hyper Consumption Loops by Leyla Acaroglu)

        Could we transfer financial risks associated with the full life cycle of fossil fuels to the entities responsible for creating the hazards in the first place through fossil fuel risk bonds?
        https://sustainable-economy.org/fossil-fuel-risk-bonds-making-polluters-pay-for-the-climate-crisis/

        Or would this just be another low regulatory hurdle for the purveyors of our consumer culture?

        Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    This article sounds like an attempt to appeal to corporate America to get onboard with climate change with a Helen Lovejoy-like “Won’t somebody please think of the profits?” wail. I doubt that they will pay attention however as they will still be thinking of that quarters financials as well as any bonuses that can be made. Perhaps when things get worse, he can go back to them and say something like “Ladies and Gentlemen. With climate change going full bore now, we seem to be having a problem with chronic violent death”.

    Reply
  5. James E Keenan

    Could the FED not use it’s power to create government energy bonds to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels ?

    It is the Treasury Department which issues bonds — not the Fed.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      The Fed can purchase bonds. In the aftermath of the GFC, I was hoping that creative thinkers at the Fed would notice that they could finance fiscal stimulus by purchasing municipal infrastructure bonds. I think it was Bernanke who had suggested that the Bank of Japan could respond to that nation’s stagnation by purchasing a wide range of private financial assets.

      I think it would at present be politically controversial for the Fed to pursue an “independent climate policy” by purchasing bonds to finance green power generation. But we have seen how public discourse can change with surprising speed. Who would have thought in 2014 that “Medicare for All” would be moving in the direction of a litmus test in the “D” party?

      I think that we may see similar change on the climate change policy front before too long. (though perhaps not before “too late”)

      Reply
  6. rod

    It’s good that officials are speaking publicly on this subject.

    IMO the GNDs most powerful point is that the paradigm of our modern economic system must change radically starting now.
    If one accepts that, then speaking openly and often to the ‘public’ around oneself starts to be the next personal course of action.
    It can be more awkward trying to open a conversation in the grocery line than with the restaurant waitstaff-but my experience is that I get more positive confirmation than negative pushback–which has encouraged me to do it more(and get more comfortable and practiced with it).
    I think every little thing helps

    Reply
  7. rod

    So, the Fed and the Dept. of Defense now both are on record saying Climate Change is affecting their planning and operations. Two talking points to share with my Republican Congressman and Senator.

    Reply
    1. Peter

      The CIA has been warning long before that already.
      https://history.aip.org/climate/impacts.htm

      An example was a 1974 report commissioned by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (link from below) What if the climate altered radically within a few decades — perhaps the sudden freeze that some journalists warned might grip the planet? The report concluded that the entire world’s food supply might be imperilled. There would be mass migrations, perhaps even wars as starving nations fought for the remaining resources.

      https://www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/1996/dci_speech_072596.html

      In 1991, then-Senator Gore urged the Intelligence Community to create a task force to explore ways that intelligence assets could be tapped to support environmental research. That initiative led to a partnership between the Intelligence and scientific communities that has proven to be extraordinarily productive for both parties.

      The Environmental Task Force found that data collected by the Intelligence Community from satellites and other means can fill critical information gaps for the environmental science community. Furthermore, these data can be handed over for study without revealing information about sources and methods.

      For example, imagery from the earliest intelligence satellites–which were launched long before commercial systems–can show scientists how desert boundaries, vegetation, and polar ice have changed over time. These historical images, which have now been declassified, provide valuable indicators of regional and global climate change.

      And the DOD was also aware of the potential impact:
      https://www.eesi.org/files/IssueBrief_Climate_Change_Security_Implications.pdf

      In its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) officially recognized climate change as a factor worthy of consideration in future national security planning. The report stated, “Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment,” noting that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.”1 The report goes on to describe the vast geopolitical impacts of climate change anticipated by the intelligence community, including sea level rise, increasing temperatures, food and water scarcity, the proliferation of disease vectors, and the risk of mass migration by vulnerable populations to escape these impacts.

      Reply
    2. jrs

      The Fed and the defense department still have a little bit of rationality that hasn’t been bought and sold (mind you the defense department will use that in the service of it’s killing machine). Your Republican congressperson and Senator have likely been entirely bought and sold and are barking like mad dogs at this point.

      But sure always good to write the congresscriters (no for the R party members, I refuse to even grant them any other name).

      Reply
  8. jfleni

    RE: Fed Official: Climate Change is an ‘International Market Failure’

    The market will ‘clear’ at the same time these “market monkeys” stop yelling “GIMME”; nice to know that these ignorant clowns will welcome “extinction” with the rest of
    us!

    Reply
  9. William Beyer

    But possible fixes — using the Fed’s buying power to green the economy — are currently against the law.

    Really? Does he mean that the $16 trillion the Fed found to green the big banks was illegally obtained?

    Reply
  10. Louis Fyne

    to nitpick, it’s not an economic problem, it’s a political problem.

    less developed world consumption,
    more tariffs to discourage the intercontinental supply chain,
    CO2 tax,
    more fission,
    fewer births in the developing world (ie the countries with high religiosity),
    coordinated global Manhattan project on alt energy.

    every single thing above isn’t being done for a political reason as it affects one/many interest groups.

    Reply
    1. Grizz

      with respect, it IS a problem of economics. Economics is the most significant direct and indirect driver of politics

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        Oh, FFS, don’t fall for the trap of thinking that economics and politics are two different things. Our US academies decided that political economy should be divided into separate disciplines of poli-sci and econ (the better to obfuscate actual social dynamics), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still just two aspects of the same process/system. And remember, Political Economy started out life as Moral Philosophy — i.e. even calling it political economy is an obfuscation of the real underlying issue which is morality. Morality is the undeclared underlying basis of political economy and therefore also of politics and economics. You have to start out with moral assumptions before you can justify any particular social scheme, and I think the defenders of the status quo would prefer we not examine the amoral/immoral underpinings of our political-economic system.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Various economic grid-matrixes and theo-economic ritual beliefs are bought and paid for by various groups of Social Class Based political operators.

        And their pre-engineered economic outcomes can then feed back in ways the Overclass did not expect or plan for to create new politics. If runaway heat-crashes occur too fast for the Overclass’s pet butler media to spin away and deny, and if the heat-crashes crash systems of social violence containment before the Overclass have retreated into their bunkers; then one could say that the economics they unleashed have indeed driven the politics to an endpoint situation developing not necessarily to their advantage.

        Reply
  11. JEHR

    Re: Lambert’s “Short capitalism? But how?”

    Don’t use banks, use credit unions; don’t use Facebook, use the telephone; don’t use Amazon, go downtown; don’t buy the newest gizmo, read a book, etc. It’s a long process.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Prepay all debts on your house down to zero, if you can. Resurrect the interesting comment Guy Fawks Lives wrote here several years ago on how it may be possible to de-MERS-ify your home-ownership records and force them back to analog earth on analog paper in a Recorder of Deeds Office. That comment really should be found, explained, expanded upon and maybe be turned into a little guidebook for immunising your home ownership against fraudulent challenge.

      Armor up your house against violent police or national guard home invasion. it works better if hundreds or thousands of neighbors do the same thing at the same time. Find a way to surround your house with multi-feet-thick walls of the kind of Ultra High Performance Concrete that the Iranians have built their underground nuke facilities with. The guard or the police may decide to not even try to chop their way through that.
      https://www.cement.org/learn/concrete-technology/concrete-design-production/ultra-high-performance-concrete

      Set up your own roofwater collection systems to store all the water your roof can shed over a year. Put in waterless composting toilets. Create food-growing beds of several-feet-deep fertile soil to grow a survival diet on. That will take the kind of physical work which permaculture does not require. But permaculture may not be enough to food-impregnify your little “short Capitalism” survival doomstead.
      Here’s a book called One Circle: How To Grow A Complete Diet In Less Than A Thousand Square Feet.
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1329373.One_Circle
      Unfortunately, it will take more work than permaculture would. But if one really wishes to “short Capitalism”, one does the work one must to prepare what must be prepared. Because part of “short Capitalism” means no more food to buy, and no more money to buy food with. At least for weeks or months at a time.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        That sounds like a miserable existence. Have a few survivalist friends always going on about stuff like that. Always tell ‘em it’s much easier to down a flask of tequila and find a tall ledge somewhere. That Mad Max life ain’t for me.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          That’s a fair point.

          Can one take the “Mad Max” out of it? Perhaps prepare the house and yard for doomstead survival but don’t bother with the concrete fortification. Share your knowledge with those you pre-know to be interested in acting on it. Learn to look poor and obscure but happy and smiley.

          And perhaps co-build with like-minded people the “pre-capitalist” style time/labor/stuff barter networks needed to keep rudimentary economic and social functions functioning. Find people with who to be the co-stub of a Transition Town on the way to Power Down. Less miserable, more hopeful.

          And one can plant flowers among the survival subsistence food plants for joy and beauty.

          Reply
  12. Steven Greenberg

    And its tools are limited to buying and selling government debt to tweak interest rates.

    What was the Fed buying in the various phases of quantitative easing?

    Quantitative Easing Explained

    The bank buys securities from its member banks to add liquidity to capital markets.

    Reply
  13. Susan the other`

    What an amazing confession. By the Fed as usual, and not congress, so that makes it just another comment for congress to ignore. Rudebusch, the VP of the SF Fed no less, just said this. He said the markets have failed. The markets have failed. He said it. He said we have created a dysfunctional market which has failed. It has failed because the structural design of the free market externalizes costs that become exponentially too expensive for the market to adjust to and still make a profit. He just said capitalism has failed. Stunning. He said the real cost of pollution by fossil fuel use has not been priced into the goddamn market, well duh. It is a structural failure over decades if not centuries. We are in an unsustainable situation because all those externalized costs are now overwhelming us and the market can no longer function. We need an intervention. We need green bonds and lotsa money to create a new “low carbon” economy. It’s impossible for the fed to issue the bonds, Treasury must do this. Good luck with Trump’s Treasury. That clown. Ignoring this, Trump style, will make everything in our current dysfunctional economy irrelevant. As irrelevant as politics itself. The economy will simply collapse.

    Reply
  14. TG

    One is reminded that “Market Failure” is the term that economists who claim that the market can never fail, use when the market has failed.

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      The Market can never fail, it can only be failed.

      It is we imperfect humans who cause the problems; we who ruin everything through our original sin of not being exact duplicates of each other, of not exclusively pursuing our individual financial interests, as demanded of us by the Models of the holy Economists. The Market is Perfect and Eternal, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Beneficient. It is blasphemy to imply that the Market could be the cause of problems. Humans are the cause of problems and the Market is our only possible salvation. Repent ye sinner, and be sold!…er, I mean saved…

      Reply
  15. diptherio

    Why is everything always conceived of in terms of markets? Climate Change is a moral failure, not a market failure. Or rather, it is the result of repeated human moral failings. We prefer comfort whenever we can get it, so anything promising physical or psychological comfort we feel justified in producing and consuming, even if the thing also causes manifold problems. So long as the producer and consumer of the thing aren’t the ones being harmed by it, they discount that harm…and so the harms multiply.

    We have also decided, as a culture, somewhere along the way, that the pursuit of wealth for the sake of wealth was a legitimate and moral way to behave…or, at the very least, not an immoral way to behave. But it is an immoral way to behave and the fact that so many have, for so long, been content to play along with this immorality (or have been forced to by circumstances) is what is causing climate change.

    If we had taken non-economic, non-human, un-quantifiable values into account when building our society, our economy, our lives, we wouldn’t have found ourselves where we do today…a place where we’ve become so blinded by the rhetoric of “the Market” that we find it difficult to even think in any other terms.

    Reply
    1. barrisj

      “Markets” are but the medium for transactional exchanges that global capitalism has established for relationships between employer and employee, between producer and consumer, and even between the governed and their political masters. Markets like to believe they are “value-free”, and the concept of morality simply doesn’t enter the calculus. A highly reductive methodology adopted by political economy to explain the organization and rationalization of societies, it is allowed to even express man’s relationship to his environment, faute de mieux. The ethos has so permeated the modern world that one wonders if even an impending global catastrophe would be sufficient to displace “market-based solutions”.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      The market is what modern America defines its morals by. From the Prosperity Gospel to Trump to “influencers” to credit scores – it’s a sick mentality that has overtaken the populous.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps we can only de-sickenize the populace one person at a time. The (real) hippies tried to do it in their day.

        “Make a living, not a killing”.
        “Make love, not money.”

        Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    We witnessed a neat parlor trick when the powers that be conjured up enough money vis a vis the mouse clique to get ourselves out of a financial jam a decade ago, but mother nature’s lay of the land is a different kettle of risk.

    I watched the price of an acre foot of water go from a few hundred bucks to almost $2000 in the long drought, as no computer could spit out 20 trillion gallons on demand, markets right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2tpEBG4_HY

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Or as a fire chief explaining the need for more taxes to support the fire department with put it:
      ” When you call the fire department, do you want us to fax you a picture of a fire truck?”

      Reply
    2. jrs

      And how much better off would we be environmentally if capitalism hadn’t been bailed out? If instead we had used the opportunity to entirely change the economic system or even just let it collapse of it’s own accord? Whatever arose from the ashes would probably beat this. It was a once in forever opportunity, completely blown in order to save the status quo.

      Human needs should be met, but capitalism should have been allowed to collapse as it would have in 2008 without the bailout. They kept the death system that is capitalism going, that is all, and maybe killed the world in the process.

      Reply
  17. p fitzsimons

    How about buying shares in companies that advance the deployment of sustainable energy (wind, photovoltaic, hydro etc) or nuclear?

    Reply
  18. Susan the other`

    Let us all remember Nancy Pelosi lecturing against the rise of socialism during the last campaign – she actually got on her soapbox and said we can’t be a socialist government because we live in a capitalist society and we have capitalist “institutions” which we cherish and blablablah. Nancy didn’t then, and doesn’t now know what she is talking about. She touts the free market finding the correct price nonsense with the dumbest of them. And there she sits, Speaker of the House, able to prevent any and all solutions that don’t satisfy her capitalist misunderstanding. Her long, self-serving fantasies. This could turn out to be a real fiasco as aparachik idiots like Nancy go all out to save face and try to blame any and all things except the sacred capitalist free market system. And the longer they prevent critical changes to the system the worse the situation gets. Even the herky-jerky Liz Warren intentionally misunderstands “structural changes”. All she is proposing are cosmetic tweaks. She’s as dangerous as Nancy. Their stubborn incompetence is easily as nauseating as watching Brexit.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      There she sits because there her voters put her. She represents the San Francisco limousine liberals just perfectly. She is a perfect expression of everything they stand for.

      Reply
  19. eg

    You know, there used to be this thing called “credit guidance” (government set interest rates differentiated by industry sector) before the long international nightmare of neoliberalism took hold.

    It’s well past time that it was rediscovered, along with capital controls to defang “hot money” and those who profit from it.

    Reply
  20. Jeremy Grimm

    This short post reads as if there were no government other than the Fed. Has the Fed become our government of last resort? Is the Market the only answer to every question and the Fed is there to bail out business when the Market needs ‘adjustment’ after a failure? Given the nature of Climate Chaos I am touched that the Fed is concerned about its impacts on the financial world.

    There was only one sentence in the Fed letter by Rudebusch referenced by this post that made any sense to me:
    “Without proper price signals and incentives in the private market [signals I view as impossible to create], some kind of collective or government action is necessary.”
    However I fear some might push for an action like geoengineering, and not the planting of more trees, grass, sea-grass or chickpeas.

    Reply

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