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Friday, September 14, 2012

Bernanke's plan jolts the Dow, so where is QE3's harshest critic now?

Paul Ryan has yet to comment on the Fed's quantitative easing plan despite a long history of railing against the measure

Almost 24 hours after the Federal Reserve announced another blockbuster programme to prop up the US's lackluster economy, one of its biggest critics remains strangely silent.

Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, has yet to comment on Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's plan to inject $40bn into the US economy every month for the foreseeable future.

Spotted by CBS reporter Sarah Boxer on his way to House speaker John Boehner's office yesterday, all he had to say was: "Oh, I'm just here to see some of my friends."

Ahead of the announcement Ryan was far more outspoken, specifically coming out against a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) from the Fed in an interview with financial news channel CNBC on 7 September.

"I think QE3 – I think QE – the costs outweigh the benefits in my personal opinion," said Ryan.

"If borrowing and spending and regulating and taxing was the secret to economic success, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece," Ryan said. "It's not. It doesn't work. We need sound money, low tax rates, fiscal discipline, regulatory certainty and we need to stop this notion of a government-driven economy."

On 23 August he made the same case to CNBC's Larry Kudlow: "We want to pursue a sound money strategy so that we can get back the king dollar, as you say it, Larry. Number two, I'm not a fan of more stimulus or more easing. I think the benefits are clearly outweighed by the long-term costs of this. There – it's not working, and all this loose money from the Fed is basically bailing out the fact President Obama has failed on fiscal policy. The Fed can't keep bailing out bad fiscal policy. We need to get our fiscal policy right."

So where is Ryan now? His would-be boss Mitt Romney sort of discussed the Fed's move on ABC's Good Morning America on Friday: "What Bernanke's doing is saying that what the president's saying is wrong. The president's saying the economy's making progress, coming back. Bernanke's saying, 'No, it's not. I've got to print more money."

But so far there has been no real critique of QE3.

All very strange really, especially as Ryan appears to have picked in part for his hardline financial philosophy and not just his puppy dog eyes. The Dow is soaring Friday and hit highs unseen since 2007 on Thursday. Perhaps Ryan has been muzzled while the Republicans wait to see if and when the rally will subside.

He did mention America's debts . But still nothing on Ben.

And then he was off to the safety of sports.

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