Can We Outsource the Fed?

Imagine 40 million foreclosures being forgiven. That is what the Indian government has proposed to do in its latest budget. Poor farmers need not pay back outstanding loans. There are other measures on the anvil to help the country’s poor.

The person responsible for this budget studied at Harvard. The Executive Head of the Indian State has spent many years in Washington. It is the same story with China and the Middle East: top economic policy makers lean heavily on US business management schools.

NYSE, in the meantime, does not seem to be raving over the economic stimulus package. The Fed hints at further cuts, but there are no guarantees that bigger margins for banks will do the trick. It can make you wonder if we should outsource the Fed’s job.

Depression is the most likely outcome of recrimination. It is more productive to think of what management Guru Kenichi Ohmae has called ‘Axes of Freedom’. What are ordinary folk free to do in these uncertain economic times? No one has to depend on the Fed for stock investing for example.

There are two axes of freedom apart from stock investing. One is to reduce personal expenses for each month. The other is to think of new revenue lines through small business. Interest rate cuts are not relevant for any of these steps. There is so much that we can achieve in small groups.

Some regional banks have done very well in 2007. This proves that a community format can work better than the same service on a larger scale. It is the same with an investment club. Small groups can do better at stock investing than large institutions.

The economic situation of early 2008 calls for assertive action. It may be futile to expect the Fed to take all steps on our behalf. There are plenty of things we are free to do.