The attached report is largely positive – and for that we should thank central bankers. Until recently, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about them. I believe that we are each responsible for our individual successes. But, a rising tide can lift many boats and lately I have come to see that the tide of the U.S. economy continues to rise in large part because our central bankers took unprecedented steps: buying debt and keeping interest rates low across the yield curve. I’m glad they did, despite former Texas Governor Perry calling it “treasonous” (someone please send him a macroeconomics textbook). European central bankers are now doing much the same – if a tad bit late. And it looks as if the world economy will continue to rise for another year.
How long can central bankers continue to steer us to safety?
The central bankers have done a great job so far, but they have largely been alone and their tools, while powerful, are finite. The seas are still rough; systemic problems continue to hold us back; the playing field remains tilted; and many in the 99% still feel rain and chill in their faces – not at their backs. Meanwhile, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic rant, rave, and dither while accomplishing little to materially improve the lives of citizens or reduce the burden on those who follow. If the central bankers run out of tools before the world economy has fully stabilized, continued economic growth will be at the mercy of Greece, Russia, Iran, Islamic militants, and politicians not doing something stupid.
I’m an optimist. It can happen. But just to be safe, I’m praying that the central bankers first steer us all safely to calm waters. We are headed in the right direction – we just need time.
Jason Panzer and Michael Maxworthy will lead a team from Marlin & Associates to this year’s Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit in Las Vegas, March 30 to April 1, 2015. If you would like to get together with them, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 257-6300 to set up a time and place.