If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘confirmation bias’ suggests that once we’ve invested time and emotional energy into developing a worldview, we’ll then seek information to confirm that view.
After writing about the economy for so many years, I’m now so convinced that we can’t print our way to prosperity that I find myself seeing signs confirming this view everywhere, every single day. So that’s the danger to be aware of when listening to me. I’m going to keep repeating this mantra and Im going to keep finding data that supports this view.
Based on lots of historical inputs, I have concluded that Printing money out of thin air can engineer lots of things, including asset price bubbles and the redistribution of wealth from the masses to the elites. But it cannot print up real prosperity.
As much as I try, I simply cannot jump on the bandwagon that says that printing up money out of thin air has any long-term utility for an economy. It’s just too clear to me that doing so presents plenty of dangers, due to what we might call ‘economic gravity’: What goes up, must also come down.
Which brings us to this chart:
The 200 bubble blown by Greenspan was bad, the next one by Bernanke was horrible, but this one by Yellen may well prove fatal. At least to entire financial markets, large institutions, and a few sovereigns.
It’s essential to note that more than two-thirds of the net worth tracked in the above chart is now comprised of ‘financial assets.’ That is, paper claims on real things.
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