Go Zen, Ben!

June 27th, 2013 at 11:59 am

That’s my advice, over at the NYT’s Economix blog.

If Mr. Bernanke continues to feel compelled to speak out, he should do so in Zen terms, emulating more the “I Ching” than monetary textbooks.  Some suggestions:

On tapering: “Though the rains have led to a rich bounty, they must cease and allow the sun to naturally warm the fields.”

On rate increases: “That which was down, must eventually be up.  Bounds of zero must become unbound.”

On incoming data: “The wise man follows the path.  Though the path is unknown today, it will be revealed tomorrow … and then there’s revisions, of course.”

Challenge to commentors: add your own Zen phrase that Ben should utter to calm the jittery, unenlightened markets.  I’ll run the results in a few days.

As usual, the Onion was way ahead on this strategy: here’s a 2008 article titled: “Asian Markets Fall Like Cherry Blossoms In Gentle Spring Rain.”  Note the brilliant haikus sprinkled like soy sauce on my tuna roll throughout the piece.

Sony failed to provide confidence in a market already as skittish as the aging husband of a teenage bride, forcing investors to shore up cash reserves with orders of durable goods and agricultural products. “Fading dollar’s gleam, a feeble warning beacon: Seek bellies of pork.

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8 comments in reply to "Go Zen, Ben!"

  1. Tom in MN says:

    Ben clearly has been living the “May you live in interesting times” curse, so I’m sure he could use returning to more Zen-like times about now.

  2. architectonic says:

    In spring, first quarter summary of commentary on current economic conditions;
    In summer, second quarter summary of commentary on current economic conditions;
    In autumn, third quarter summary of commentary on current economic conditions;
    In winter fourth quarter summary of commentary on current economic conditions.
    If useless things do not hang in your mind,
    Any monetary policy is a good monetary policy for you.

  3. Peter K. says:

    how long to maintain
    accomodative stance will
    depend on data

    as the Fed tapers
    economy will pick up
    bubble bust repeat


    Thanks for a good laugh-out-loud!

  4. Bill Gatliff says:

    I totally understand Greenspan now.

  5. Brad Zebal says:

    I enjoyed the comparison of Bernanke-speak and I Ching hexagram texts, but the I Ching is not “Zen”.

  6. Sidney R. says:

    On Changing Direction: The path of the crooked man is straight; the path of the honest man is crooked.

    On Raising Rates Eventually: That which cannot go down will not go down. It must stay the same or go up; half of zero is zero. A glass can be half full but it cannot be half empty.

    On Raising Inflation Expectations: I live in the realm of self-fulfilling expectations, if I believe inflation will increase, inflation will increase unless I live in the realm of self-denying expectations. Everyone knows where I live.

    On the link between interest rates and economic activity: Higher interest rates will lead to lower business investment and lower growth. Higher interest rates will lead to higher interest income, higher consumption, higher business investment and higher growth. That which I cannot effect I will not effect.

    On the Stock Market: Falling stock prices are a leading indicator of higher stock prices.

  7. bevis longstreth says:

    Honey bees need sugar water in March, before the first blooms. Too much, they die.