Brad DeLong - Uncertainty and aggregate demand - "The future is always uncertain--and how uncertain it is fluctuates. When the future is more than unusually uncertain, economic players want the security of extra financial asset holdings before they are willing to spend to put people to work. It is, then, the business of the government to make sure that they have the amount and the kinds of financial assets they need to sleep easily. That was one of the insights of John Maynard Keynes. That was one of the insights of Milton Friedman."
Jeremy Grantham - Cash is the king - "We've already started to sell [stocks]. We're not even— averagely weighted. We're modestly underweighted. And you must remember bonds are even worse than stocks on a seven-year forecast. So, you get caught in this paradox. It's very tempting— and this is what the Fed wants by the way.
It wants us to go out there and buy stocks, which are overpriced because bonds they have manipulated into being even less attractive. So, we’re being forced to choose between two overpriced assets. That is not always a terrific choice to make because there is a third choice, and that is don't play the game and hold money in cash.
And cash has a— a virtue that people don't appreciate fully. And that is its— its optionality. In other words, if anything crashes and burns in value— say the U.S. stock market, if you have no resources, it doesn't help you. If the bond market crashes, and you have no resources, it doesn't help you. And what cash is is an available resource. It buys you the right to buy the U.S. market if the S&P drops from 1,220 today to 900, which is what we think is fair value."
Mark Thoma - Interest on reserves - "There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Fed’s policy of paying interest on reserves with many claiming that this has caused banks to retain reserves that might have otherwise been turned into loans, and thus the policy has depressed aggregate activity. However, paying interest on reserves is a safety net for the Fed that allowed them to do QEI and QEII. If the Fed wasn’t paying interest on reserves, QEI would have likely been smaller, and QEII may not have happened at all. <..>
The tool the Fed has for removing reserves from the system is open market operations (QEI and QEII are essentially traditional open market operations, but the Fed buys long-term rather than the more traditional short-term financial assets). So why do they need another tool — interest on reserves — to control reserves? Removing reserves too fast through open market operations could disrupt financial markets. Paying interest on reserves gives the Fed a way to remove reserves in a more leisurely fashion while still maintaining control over inflation."
Steve Landsburg - Cut agencies - "Like I said, cut agencies. And cut them in bunches, to dilute opposition. As I’ve said before on this blog, the department of commerce steals from workers and farmers to subsidize businesses; the department of agriculture steals from workers and businesses to subsidize farmers, and the department of labor steals from businesses and farmers to subsidize workers. Eliminate them all at once and every American will lose one friend and two enemies."
"If money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down" - George W. Bush warned in September 2008