Central Banks

Albert Edwards: Bernanke, Osborne blowing bubbles

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne are creating the conditions for the next global credit bubble, according to Societe Generale veteran strategist Albert Edwards.

Edwards, who is known for his extremely bearish views, said that Osborne's schemes to support the U.K. housing market, and Bernanke's continuance of monetary stimulus, were pushing the world towards another boom-and-bust situation.

"In the same way that we spent the years 2001-2007 heaping derision on Alan Greenspan as being the chief architect of the global credit bubble and subsequent bust, we must now do the same for Fed Chair Ben Bernanke and U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne," Edwards wrote in a research note on Thursday.

(Read more: House prices: The real sign a bubble is approaching)

He pointed the finger at Osborne in particular, saying he will bear "primary responsibility" for the next economic bust because, of his efforts to shore up Britain's housing market.

Both the U.K. government's "Funding for Lending" scheme, which offers banks money at a cheaper rate in order to boost lending, and its "Help to Buy" program, which offers homebuyers loans of up to 20 percent towards a new property, have been criticized amid fears that the housing market is inflating.

Following the taper timeline

House prices rose by 3.3 percent in the 12 months to July, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, with prices driven primarily by London, where they shot up by 9.7 percent.

(Read more: Sterling's Fed honeymoon: Passionate but brief)

"Evidence is mounting that easy money and unprecedented fiscal interference in the U.K. housing market is leading to another explosion of prices, with London, as always, leading the way with double-digit house price inflation," Edwards wrote.

However, on Wednesday, Osborne denied the housing market was overheating, and said that house sales and mortgage approvals were still substantially lower than there were before the credit crunch.

"Let's stay alert, but let's not pretend there's a housing boom," Osborne said at the annual meeting of the Institute of Directors.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also appears relatively unconcerned by the rise in house prices, stating last week that despite the "need to be vigilant", there was a "considerable range" of policy tools available to mintage the risk of a bubble. This sentiment was repeated in the minutes from the Bank's last policy meeting, published on Wednesday.

(Read more: Canada's red hot housing market teeters on the brink)

Edwards argued, however, that Osborne was not alone in inflating the bubble, with the Fed's decision to keep its stimulus program intact this month exacerbating the problem. The U.S. central bank shocked markets on Wednesday when it announced it would not be maintaining its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. Wall Street had expected a cut of between $10-15 billion.

"I can believe the arch-dove Bernanke might have wanted to keep blowing his bubbles, but I am amazed that he got the rest of the Fed, or at least the majority, on his side," he wrote, arguing that the central bank had spent weeks preparing markets for a tapering off of stimulus.

"Even a $5 billion taper, which would have meant absolutely nothing in terms of the effect on the markets and economy, would have been seen as following through with their previous statements, instead of introducing a huge element of uncertainty as to their intentions," Edwards added.

ByCNBC's Katrina Bishop. Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaBishop

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