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Complexity: The Hidden Cost of Central Bank Actions

by Jim Grant
CFA Institute

Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Grant’s is worried.

“One would not think at first sight that government had much to do with the trade of banking,” Walter Bagehot, the famed Victorian writer on finance, mused a century and a half ago. As time rolls on and regulation gives way to regimentation, the question presents itself: Do bankers have much to do with the trade of banking anymore?

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