Trump Says Janet Yellen Is Keeping Interest Rates Low So President Obama Can Play Golf … After months of surprising restraint, Donald Trump has finally started spewing conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve. -Slate
Slate writers and editors seem to believe criticism of central banking is “conspiracy theory.” Specifically Donald Trump’s criticism made a few days ago that Yellen is holding down rates to benefit the Obama administration and the economy generally.
Sounds reasonable to us. And the larger point is well taken too. The US central bank was set up in 1913 and its history prior to that was extremely controversial.
How can the quasi-mainstream media continue to make such arguments seriously? Interest rates are actually negative in many countries. And only eight years ago, Ben Bernanke printed up $16 trillion and sent it around the world to make sure the “system” wouldn’t crash.
Nobody should have the right to print $16 trillion of anything. But for some reason Slate that none of this matters. The Fed, you see, is a professional, deliberative body and nothing more.
During an interview with CNBC on Monday morning, the Republican presidential nominee suggested that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is keeping interest rates low in order to pump up a “false” stock market during President Obama’s final months in office.
“She’s obviously political,” he said. “She’s doing what Obama wants her to do. And I know that’s not supposed to be the way it is. But that’s why it’s low. Because as soon as they [interest rates] go up, the stock market is going to go way down.” For good measure, he added that Yellen “should be ashamed of herself.”
We are far more supportive of Trump’s argument than Slate’s. And we’re also aware that Slate is owned by the Washington Post. The Post is well-known as a CIA/intelligence adjunct and former Mockingbird participant. It is not apt to be a stern critic of the Fed to begin with.
What is increasingly obvious however is that this sort of approach to financial journalism is bankrupt. There are hundreds of websites pointing out the difficulties with central banking in simple terms. And the simplest is that a small group of people ought not to be in charge of mandating the value of volume of money.
Marry logical arguments against central banking to its abysmal 20th and 21st century track-record and presenting positive perspectives regarding central banking becomes an impossible task.
Those who might be apt to support this perspective are notorious “low information” types. And that brings up another point regarding this sort of journalistic exercise: It likely alienates a considerable mass of the intelligentsia, which is surely part of Slate’s target audience.
Trump is hardly scratching the surface of the real conspiracy surrounding the Fed and central banks generally. But in this Internet era, articles like this one are now counterproductive within a mainstream context. They are one reason the mainstream media currently has a single-digit approval rating in the US.
Conclusion: Trump himself is stripping away the veneer of political correctness from the public dialogue. The more he does this, the less successful publications like Slate will be. That’s probably another reason why portions of the establishment and military-industrial complex are uncomfortable with him.