Gone Up to the Mountain

Last weekend the Federal Reserve held its summer conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This is part of a grand tradition that goes back centuries. Ever since Moses came down from Sinai with those tablets, leaders have gone up to the mountain to receive wisdom and achieve enlightenment.

You see, economics is the new theology. There are competing sects: the monetarists, the Keynesians, the supply-siders. There are civil debates along with heretics and “flamings.” And we have a central authority charged with implementing received (monetary) doctrine.

Like their religious counterparts, the participants debate and discuss confusing concepts that still have significant real-world implications. “Too-big-to-fail” affects borrowers, depositors, and taxpayers just as much as liturgical reforms affect churchgoers.

The drawbacks are also similar. The Jackson Hole retreat is filled with academics, bank CEOs, and central bankers. There is little to connect the cool mountain air of Jackson Hole with the smoggy city heat of New York or LA. Sometimes the real-world implications of these high-level discussions aren’t appreciated as much as they might be by a manager making sales or a politician running for office.

Like all self-important conferences, you can expect pronouncements of great pomp and circumstance. In fact, the central bankers may break their arms patting themselves on the back. Just don’t expect a lot of enlightenment.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-04T19:24:34+00:00 August 21st, 2009|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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