Thursday, September 20, 2007

Will the Bernanke 'put' work?

I suggested yesterday that there was a Bernanke 'put' in operation out there in the markets, much like the much-maligned Greenspan 'put'- when push comes to shove, nobody wants plummeting markets to drag down the larger economy. A commentator in FT today endorses this view but suggests that the Bernanke 'put' may not solve the underlying problems:

The positive response of global equities highlights how the move was both unexpected and welcome. Now that the Fed cites “developments in the financial markets” as influencing their policy assessment, investors have good reason to believe in the “Bernanke put”.

........The problems in credit markets stem from unsustainable financial structures brought on by many years of unregulated financial innovation. It would be naive to think that these structural problems could be spirited away by a 50bp rate cut.

Well, the Fed's response may or may not work but, as I argued yesterday, no central bank can fail to respond to market conditions as bad as the ones we are seeing now- this it not some unpleasant invention of Greenspan's.

No comments: