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Martin Wolf

Financial Times
Bachelor’s – Oxford; Masters – Oxford

Wolf is an editor and chief economics commentator for the Financial Times.  Most of the world’s economic elite consider him to be the most influential – and best - business writer today.  What he really is, is little more than Steve Liesman (#33) with a British accent; a tireless apologist and propagandist for the world’s central banks, investment banks, activists governments and elite university economics departments.  

The best evidence of this is a January 12, 2005 column where Wolf remarkably asked “Why are the English-speaking nations doing best?”  In terms of homeownership by January 2005 the US housing bubble had already peaked and was starting to deflate!  The performance that Wolf was praising was completely illusory and doomed to failure.  The economy’s “performance” was fueled by government central planning and a massive credit expansion engineered by a central bank that would soon end in a disastrous collapse.  Wolf was not only completely blind to all of this; he was endorsing all the radical central bank and government intervention in the economy that had fueled the enormous imbalances that would all soon come crashing down.  

Less well-known – or feted – than Martin Wolf is the late Dr. Kurt Richebächer.  One of the things that made Dr. Richebächer much less celebrated than the Martin Wolfs and Steve Liesmans of the world was his unwillingness to be a lackey or stooge for central banks or the investment banks on Wall Street or in London.  Dr. Richebächer knew the laws of economics – like the laws of nature – could never be suspended indefinitely.  He also knew that the longer the laws of economics were suspended by government or central bank interventionism, the larger the crash would be when these laws were finally able to exert themselves again.  

Here is Dr. Richebächer correctly identifying everything that was wrong with the US economy just a few months after Martin Wolf praised it;

“Why has the unusually aggressive combination of monetary and fiscal policy so lamentably failed to generate a recovery of the vigor that had been standard in postwar periods?  Our short answer: The Greenspan Fed deliberately pursued a policy to instantly replace the bursting equity bubble, with another, even greater, housing bubble.  By rapidly slashing interest rates to rock-bottom levels, it succeeded in generating the housing bubble and also in provoking the consumer to sustain and accelerate his borrowing-and-spending binge,  now against the soaring collateral of rising house prices.”  

Paul Volcker, the only Fed chairman since 1971 not to cause enormous damage to the United States, is rumored to have said, “Sometimes I think the job of central bankers is to prove Kurt Richebächer wrong.”  No one who knows anything of value about economics will ever say the same thing about Martin Wolf.  

Additional Information:

See Steve Liesman (#33) for another apologist for central banking, investment banks and the academic establishment.