Friday, November 12, 2010

Stiglitz to Obama: You’re Mistaken on Quantitative Easing - Real Time Economics - WSJ

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, dismissing the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing as a “beggar-thy-neighbor” strategy of currency devaluation, called on America to learn the art of stimulus from China.

President Barack Obama has defended the Fed’s controversial program, telling the world that a fast-growing America is good for the world economy. But Mr. Stiglitz, in comments at a conference in Hong Kong on Thursday, charged that quantitative easing, by leading to a weaker U.S. dollar, in fact steals growth from other economies.

“President Obama has rightly said that the whole world will benefit if the U.S. grows, but what he forgot to mention is…that competitive devaluation is a form of growth that comes at the expense of others,” Mr. Stiglitz said at the Mipim Asia real estate conference. “So I think it is likely to present problems for the global economy going forward.”

Emerging-market nations have bristled at the Fed’s move to spur the U.S. economy by increasing the U.S. money supply. They worry it will end up instead as a tidal wave of “hot money” that will overwhelm smaller, developing economies, creating asset bubbles and inflation. To prevent that, many are establishing or strengthening capital controls, banking regulations that restrict the flow of money into and out of economies. Taiwan and Brazil are the latest to act. South Korea is also considering measures.

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