Tags: Forbes | Fed | failed | policies

Forbes: Fed’s ‘Failed Policies’ Leave Economy in a Funk

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2013 06:08 PM

By Dan Weil and Kathleen Walter

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The Federal Reserve’s massive easing program has been a disaster, says Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media.

“The Fed is addicted to failed policies,” he says in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

Quantitative easing is a waste of money that does "more harm than good," Forbes says. “It does not go to industries and businesses of the future. ... No wonder the economy is stagnating.”

Watch our exclusive video. Article continues below.


So what happens when interest rates, which the Fed has kept near historic lows, finally rebound?

“It depends what brings about the higher interest rates,” Forbes says. “If it’s the Federal Reserve arbitrarily raising interest rates just like they arbitrarily lowered them, it’s going to have a bad impact [on stocks and the economy] no matter what they do.”

Editor's Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks. Prepare for the Unthinkable.

If, instead, the Fed changed course and adopted a gold standard for the dollar, “you might see interest rates go up but you’d see equity values go up because people would see a future again,” Forbes says. “You’d see investment dollars going to work again.”

He takes issue with those trumpeting the strength of stocks. “The market isn’t doing well,” Forbes says. “It has gone nowhere in real terms since the late 1990s or even since 2007. All we’ve done is recover the ground that we were occupying before the economic crisis hit.”

And when you account for inflation and the dollar, “the market is still worse off than it was five or six years ago,” Forbes says. He sees this period as similar to the 1970s, when stocks rallied for periods in a decade that was a washout overall.

“Don’t be taken in by little fluctuations,” Forbes says. “Look at the long-term trend. Stocks have been a punk investment. The only winner in this environment is big government.”

Still, the stock market is where investors should have their money for the long term, Forbes says. “You have to have faith in America,” he says. “You cannot time the market. Emotions are your enemy.”

Although retirees may want to think twice about stocks, “if you’re in your 40s, early 50s, stick this thing out,” Forbes says. “Continue to make your [allocations]. You’ll come out ahead.”

After the “great stagnation” of the 1970s, “we came roaring back in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Forbes points out. “We’re going to do it again.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Forbes also said:

• The automatic spending cuts (sequester) are a good thing. “That’s going to be the first time the government’s not going to be extracting more resources from the economy,” he said. “So it’s a little step in the right direction, but it’s just going to be like a little oasis in the desert. We’ve still got the desert around us.”

• Jack Lew shouldn’t be confirmed as Treasury secretary. “His background, what he did at Citibank and other places, shows that he’s no genius in terms of executive ability,” Forbes said. “More fundamentally, he doesn’t understand money. So he will continue to cheapen the dollar. He doesn’t understand the destructive impact of taxes. . . . That’s not what we need in a Treasury secretary.”

Watch Steve Forbes tell Newsmax in exclusive interview: Obama Like a Bad Doctor 'Harming the Patient'

Editor's Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks. Prepare for the Unthinkable.

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