Monetary policy is over-used and over-rated

The fed meets every 6-ish weeks to adjust target fed funds rate, which impacts the interest rate in the entire nation. The event is so tightly monitored and heavily analyzed. Because this single decision is the only method that the US government can affect the US economy directly. And it is a very blunt instrument operating upon the delicate system that is the economy.

The government effectively has two tools to impact the economy - monetary policy (through interest rate) and fiscal policy (through taxes and gov’t spending). Fiscal policy is largely stagnant outside of significant global events such as a pandemic, a major armed conflict, or a massive financial crisis. So we are stuck with only using monetary policy to impact the direction of the economy.

The conventional wisdom is that increasing interest rate slows down inflation and economic growth, whereas decreasing interest rate does the opposite. But this blunt instrument has no ability to target specific areas of the economy.

In 2023, the banking sector experienced a significant downturn due to the increasing interest rate. At the same time, the main street unemployment rate is at an all time low, and inflation is still hovering at an above-desirable rate of 5%. This is a complex ecosystem to effectively manage - we need to increase production supply, undo the damage to labor participation from the pandemic, while saving our banking sector from collapse.

And the only thing that the government can do is adjust the interest rate every 6 weeks.