Central Banks

‘Clumsy’ central bankers will ‘destroy’ the economy


"Clumsy interventions" by some of the world's central banker will "destroy" the economy and usher in political chaos, a notoriously bearish Societe Generale strategist has claimed.

In a note published Friday, Edwards once again slammed loose monetary policy, pointing fingers at central bankers for failing to recognize the consequences of low interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) programs, which he says have made "virtually

Mario Draghi
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters

"When in the last few weeks I have heard that Janet Yellen sees no bubbles in the U.S., when Ben Bernanke hones and restates his helicopter money speech, and when Mario Draghi says that the ECB's policy of printing money and negative interest rates was working, I feel utterly depressed, " Edwards said.

The bearish strategist said he agreed with the likes of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who earlier this month blamed European monetary policy for driving voters towards more extreme political parties like Germany's right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD).

"This is not just a German phenomenon - it is a global one," Edwards wrote. "The people are angry and they are lashing out."

"The only people who will benefit are not investors, but anarchists who will embrace with delight the resulting chaos these policies will bring!" Edwards added.

However, Schaeuble appeared to backtrack on his comments during a press conference at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington last week, saying that low or negative rates were breeding insecurity that "will be felt in elections," but said "that's not the fault of the ECB," according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Draghi defends ECB's political independence

Draghi , Schaeuble added, "is trying to solve a problem that he can't solve."

Central bankers have also been forced to defend their positions. At Thursday's ECB press conference, Draghi stressed that the governing council was doing its job.

"We have a mandate to pursue price stability for the whole of the euro zone, not only for Germany... We obey the law, not the politicians, because we are independent, as stated by the law," Draghi told reporters.

"And by the way, all this applies to all countries,"

That hasn't stopped criticism from Edwards, though.

"I have not one scintilla of doubt that these central bankers will destroy the enfeebled world economy with their clumsy interventions and that political chaos will be the ugly result."

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