Ken Fisher to the Fed: Cutting Interest Rates Will Hurt Economy

In a recent article for USA Today, investment expert, author and columnist Ken Fisher wrote, “Hey Federal Reserve Board: Pay attention!” adding that the central bank’s plan to cut short-term interest rates represents “demand-side thinking” and ignores the “bigger basics.”

Instead, Fisher argues, the Fed should “dump all those bonds you idiotically bought under your ill-conceived ‘quantitative di-easing (QE) programs. Get real.”

Fisher contends that the Fed should be concerned with the inverted yield curve because banks’ core business is borrowing at short-term rates to fund long-term loans: “the higher long rates are above short rates, then the more profitable future lending is.” However, Fisher points out, cutting the price of borrowing won’t necessarily spur demand. He explains “In this economic cycle the supply side of monetary policy has been hugely stronger than the demand side.” He explains that the already ultra-low rates “aren’t spurring massive lending anywhere. Global money supply growth has decelerated since 2012.” He poses the question: “Are central bankers bonkers? Do they really believe cutting further boosts borrowing?”

Cutting short term rates isn’t enough, Fisher argues. “As Europe shows,” he writes, “lower than low doesn’t get it on. European negative shorts rates force Europe’s banks to charge savers for deposits. You wanna be Europe? Cutting further hurts, doesn’t help, creating even less lending and slower growth.”

Fisher concludes by imploring the Fed to “Ignore your low-interest rate tight money. Ignore the demand side. Let loan and money growth accelerate. Sell those trillions of bonds you never should have bought.”