Where is Stanford’s John Taylor when we need him?
Even since the housing bubble burst and ensuing financial crisis on 2007-2008, The Federal Reserve under Ben “The Savior!” Bernanke, Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell let their zero/low interest rate policies be too low for too long that anyone with common sense knew would lead to serious problems when The Fed was forced (this time by inflation) to end the massive OVER monetary stimulus. We are now living through The Great Reset of the US economy.
Since Biden was sworn-in as President (or El Presidente) in January 2021, 30-year mortgage rates are up 108% to 6%, regular gasoline prices are up 108% to $5 a gallon nationally. Inflation is up to 8.6% YoY.
Bernanke, Yellen and Powell did not follow any rule per se, just a “seat of the pants” panic button approach. Using the Mankiw specification of the Taylor Rule model, the Fed Funds target rate should be 13.25% based on CORE PCE. Notice starting in 2014, The TR suggested target rate started to be higher than the actual Fed target rate. And since the Covid monetary blast of 2020, the gap between the Taylor Rule and Fed target rate (red area) has grown to near the highest level in history. Even now Mohamed A. El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, is starting to admit that The Fed’s ZIRP policies are beginning to hurt.
But if we use total inflation rather than core inflation, the measure that picks up the actual pain that Americans are feeling from rising gasoline prices and mortgage rate, we get a Fed Target rate of 22.10%. Since The Fed’s current target rate is only 1.75%, The Fed has “Room To Move.”
And in a painful. bad way.
Bernanke, Yellen and Powell must think that The Taylor Rule is the New Jersey ham pork roll.