Well, there really isn’t much news there. The board remains split over further stimulus, although momentum seems to be building in that direction.
We have Plan A, which is wait and see, and Plan B, which is more QE. Of the two, the former is probably wisest. But what about Plans C, D, E … ? They don’t exist.
It would seem that right about now would be an excellent time to weigh some different options. After all, many prominent contrarians have been invited to speak before the board to offer their insight. Apparently that was no more than a token gesture to a band of jesters.
When all else has failed, however, it might be wise to give what they have suggested a try. It is hard to imagine a small experiment making things any worse than they are, and some suggestions are in fact quite plausible. What harm is there in at least taking them into serious consideration?
It would mean somebody would have to admit the possibility that they were wrong. Americans have a real problem with that.
Mistakes, however, are only tools for learning. Innovation cannot occur without taking risks, and failure is part and parcel with taking risks. If we are never wrong, there can be no change and no progress. By the same token, if we fail to learn from our mistakes and instead continually defend our faulty beliefs by casting blame elsewhere, we leave ourselves with no way out.
Interestingly, Spain – the country that has born a great deal of invective over Europe’s problems – is taking another stab at austerity as a way out of it’s problems. That seems like a practical solution to many individuals because that is what we have been trying to do to get back on our feet. But in a world stuck in the loop of trying to create growth through greater debt it is a radical concept.
Whether this latest attempt to take a different path will be given the time to play out, let alone produce desired results, remains to be seen. But it is encouraging that somewhere there are leaders with the courage to admit that what they had been doing isn’t working and have a go at something new.