Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sniffing the Scent of White Orchids: The MIT-Central Bank Connection

WSJ has an important article out on the secret meetings of central bankers and, also, the heavy influence of MIT economists.

Glad to see WSJ catching up with EPJ. Exactly one year and three days ago, EPJ posted: Is M.I.T. Secretly Running the Fed?. Then there was this on August 25, 2009, Ben Bernanke's PhD Thesis Advisor at M.I.T. Was... and EPJ's Bob English tied the whole thing together during an RT appearance this June: The M.I.T. Central Bank Mafia Exposed.

Here's a WSJ graphic on the MIT connections.

WSJ also writes:
Every two months, more than a dozen bankers meet here on Sunday evenings to talk and dine on the 18th floor of a cylindrical building looking out on the Rhine.

The dinner discussions on money and economics are more than academic. At the table are the chiefs of the world's biggest central banks, representing countries that annually produce more than $51 trillion of gross domestic product, three-quarters of the world's economic output...

Their monetary strategy isn't found in standard textbooks. The central bankers are, in effect, conducting a high-stakes experiment, drawing in part on academic work by some of the men who studied and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s and 1980s.

While many national governments, including the U.S., have failed to agree on fiscal policy—how best to balance tax revenues with spending during slow growth—the central bankers have forged their own path, independent of voters and politicians, bound by frequent conversations and relationships stretching back to university days...

Three of the world's most powerful central bankers launched their careers in a building known as "E52," home to the MIT economics department. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and ECB President Mario Draghi earned their Ph.D.s there in the late 1970s. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King taught briefly there in the 1980s, sharing an office with Mr. Bernanke...

Many economists emerged from MIT with a belief that government could help to smooth out economic downturns. Central banks play a particularly important role in this view, not only by setting interest rates but also by influencing public expectations through carefully worded statements.

While at MIT, the central bankers dreamed up mathematical models and discussed their ideas in seminar rooms and at cheap food joints in a rundown Boston-area neighborhood on the Charles River.

Over Sunday dinners in Basel, which often stretch to three hours, they now talk of pressing, real-world problems with authority. The meals are part of two-day meetings held six times a year at the BIS. Dinner guests include leaders of the Fed, ECB, Bank of England and Bank of Japan, as well as central bankers from India, China, Mexico, Brazil and a few other countries...

The Bank of England's Mr. King leads the dinner discussions in a room decorated by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, which designed the "Bird's Nest" stadium for the Beijing Olympics. The men have designated seats at a round table in a dining area scented by white orchids and framed by white walls, a black ceiling and panoramic views...

Serious matters follow appetizers, wine and small talk, according to people familiar with the dinners. Mr. King typically asks his colleagues to talk about the outlook in their respective countries. Others ask follow-up questions. The gatherings yield no transcripts or minutes. No staff is allowed.

The 18-member group, formally known as the Economic Consultative Committee, has only once issued a public statement: a two-line missive in September, promising to look for solutions in interbank lending markets, responding to allegations that some private banks had conspired to manipulate the Libor interest rate.

On Mondays after the dinner, the bankers join a larger group of central bankers at a large round table on a lower floor of the BIS building, which is shaped like a rook chess piece. Staff members sit nearby at desks decorated in white leather.
Of course, the MIT models are just fancy cover for central bank money printing. Bernanke, in particular, loves to use the cover of new models and jargon, see "Quantitative Easing,"  while he pours more green paint into the Fed printing machines. Now, it appears that the most of the central bankers, perhaps a bit high from the scent of white orchards in Basel, seem to all be printing or nearing a new money print. In the EPJ Daily Alert, I have identified the central banks of these countries as either currently printing aggressively or about to: The United States, Japan, the Euro Zone and China.

1 comment:

  1. All white guys. Where is the black? Where are the women? Where is the Latino? The Asian?

    Where is the outrage from the usual suspects at NOW, NAACP etc?