Reuters had this story recently:
Most Federal Reserve policymakers think the central bank should take steps to begin trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year as long as the economic data holds up, minutes from their last meeting showed…
Provided that the economy continued to perform about as expected, most participants anticipated that gradual increases in the federal funds rate would continue and judged that a change to the Committee’s reinvestment policy would likely be appropriate later this year,” the Fed said in its minutes.
This is the public spectacle – where tiny and often trivial bits of real news are conflated with vast myths and illusions.
The Fed fiddles with short-term interest rates… President Trump tweets a threat to the Freedom Caucus… the GOP proposes a new health-care plan…
You can’t know what any of these “facts” mean without reference to a huge body of non-facts – beliefs, ideas, and prejudices, many of them absurd.
Remember, a “myth” is not necessarily untrue; it just can’t be tested or disproven.
And since reality is infinitely complex, and a myth can only reflect a small trace of it… no matter how attractive or “true” it is, the myth always leaves out more truth than it describes.
We make no pretense of ever knowing the “truth.”
That would be impossible. All we can do is try to identify the most ridiculous myths… and find the most useful one, the one we can believe without getting kicked in the pants.
Imagine you were a Jew in Germany in the 1930s… or a stock market investor in the US in 1929… or a merchant in Mosul, Iraq, in 2003.
In each case, there were plenty of ways to understand what was going on. But the critical narrative was: Time to get out of town.
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