Bloomberg repeats the bond yield fallacy (Milton Friedman is spinning in his grave)

Bloomberg repeats the bond yield fallacy (Milton Friedman is spinning in his grave)
This is from Bloomberg:
"A series of unprecedented stimulus measures by the ECB to stave off deflation in the 18-nation currency bloc have sent bond yields to record lows and pushed stock valuations higher. "
Unprecedented stimulus measures? Say what? Since ECB chief Mario Draghi promised to save the euro at any cost in 2012 monetary policy has been tightened and not eased. Take any measure you can think of - the money base have dropped 30-40%, there is basically no growth in M3, the same can be said for nominal GDP growth, we soon will have deflation in most euro zone countries, the euro is 10-15% stronger in effective terms, inflation expectations have dropped to all time lows (in the period of the euro) and real interest rates are significantly higher. That is not monetary easing - it is significant monetary tightening and this is exactly what the European bond market is telling us. Bond yields are low because monetary policy is tight (and growth and inflation expectations therefore are very low) not because it is easy - Milton Friedman taught us that long ago. Too bad so few economists - and even fewer economic reporters - understand this simple fact. If you think that bond yields are low because of monetary easing why is it that US bond yields are higher than in the euro zone? Has the Fed done less easing than the ECB? The bond yield fallacy unfortunately is widespread not only among Bloomberg reporter, but also among European policy makers. But let me say it again - European monetary policy is extremely tight - it is not easy and I would hope that financial reporter would report that rather than continuing to report fallacies. HT Petar Sisko PS If you want to use nominal interest rates as a measure of monetary policy tightness then you at least should compare it to a policy rule like the Taylor rule or any other measure of the a neutral nominal interest rate. I am not sure what the Talyor rule would say about level of nominal interest rates we should have in Europe, but -3-4% would probably be a good guess. So interest rates are probably 300-400bp too higher in the euro zone. That is insanely tight monetary policy. PPS I am writing this without consulting the data so everything is from the top of my head. And now I really need to take care of the kids...sorry for the typos.



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