The more responsibility governments and central banks take on, the more their mistakes are exposed. And the last three years have featured quite a bit of intervention…
But consider something intriguing about how governments intervened.
Back when the pandemic began, governments around the world faced an identical problem – Covid-19. Politicians and public servants all claimed they were “following the science,” or in some cases that they were the science itself.
But then they all went and did completely different things…
Some locked down, some didn’t. Some required masks, some didn’t. Some banned travel, some didn’t. Some sent sick people into aged care facilities, some didn’t. Some used ventilators, some didn’t. Some had vaccine mandates, some didn’t. And so on…
This revealed a great deal for those monitoring a variety of countries. It exposed the large variations in response to the same challenge.
Did the science differ in different places, or did governments not know what they were doing? Perhaps the judgement calls of those making decisions mattered more than the evolving and inconclusive science. Or perhaps there was so much science lying about that you could pick and choose the one you liked.
Today, the world faces much the same challenge again – inflation and an energy crisis. But, again, the response is wildly different between different nations.
What does this tell you about central bank competence?
Do you think politicians know what they’re doing?
The very nature of central bank solutions is a game of Whack-A-Mole – originally known in Japan as Mogura Taiji, meaning Mole Whack.
Central banking is full of trade-offs. Inflation versus unemployment. Creating bubbles versus allowing a recession. The bailout out banks versus allowing moral hazard. Encouraging too much borrowing versus causing defaults.
When central banks change their policy, they are not solving a problem, but moving it from one place to another.
In this interview, Jasmine Birtles of MoneyMagpie and I discuss what this reveals about the global economy, and what happens next…
The point is that, if you compare different nations, a great deal will reveal itself about UK policy.
And if you enjoy the video and would like to know how to make and save money outside of financial markets, sign up to MoneyMagpie’s free newsletter here.
Editor, Fortune & Freedom