Robert Murphy looks closely at the Fed's meddling in the housing market and sees the Austrian boom-bust business cycle theory at work:
One of the few positive developments from the housing bubble is that many mainstream economists have recognized the pernicious role played by the Federal Reserve. Indeed, some analysts on CNBC have discussed the outright abolition of the Fed.
The case against the Fed is straightforward: In an attempt to jumpstart the economy out of recession, Greenspan slashed the federal funds target from 6.5% in January 2001 down to a ridiculous 1% by June 2003. After holding rates at 1% for a year, the Fed then steadily ratcheted them back up to 5.25% by June 2006. The connection between these moves by the central bank, versus the pumping up and popping of the housing bubble, seemed to be more than just a coincidence. On the contrary, it looked like a classic example of the Misesian theory of the business cycle, in which artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestments, which then require a recession to correct.
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