Monetary Policy and the “Everything” Asset Price Bubble

William White participated in a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute on November 12th.  In his prepared presentation (from 48 minute mark), White suggested that the economies of the advanced countries  were on an ever narrowing path, with high inflation threatening on one side and  a dangerous deflation on the other.  Central banks had inadvertently contributed to this growing exposure  through the pursuit of policies that were generally unnecessary, increasingly ineffective and ultimately dangerous.  White felt that the root cause was the failure of central banks to recognize the essential nature of a modern economy; it is complex and adaptive, not simple and static. When asked how similar mistakes might be avoided in the future, White provided a number of practical suggestions. However, before “building back better” we need to recognize the damage left over from the previous regime. It would be best to deal with the overhang of unserviceable debt through explicit debt restructuring.