The Fed’s New Unwritten Mandate

Published on
April 24th, 2020
51 minutes

The Fed’s New Unwritten Mandate

The Interview ·
Featuring Professor Mark Blyth and Professor Adam Tooze

Published on: April 24th, 2020 • Duration: 51 minutes

Professor Mark Blyth and Professor Adam Tooze explore how coronavirus is laying bare the hidden risks embedded within our financial systems and how central banks worldwide are scrambling to paper over those chasms of danger. To them, it seems that the Federal Reserve has rewritten its remit, and they discuss how rather than try and keep prices stable or keep unemployment low, the sole focus of the Fed right now seems to be supporting asset prices at any cost, even if that means bailing out leveraged entities who took on too much risk. They also discuss Europe and how this crisis is heightening the contradictions within the Eurozone and pushing the European banking system to the brink. Filmed on April 22, 2020.



  • GB
    Graydon B.
    7 May 2020 @ 22:34
    a bit difficult to derive specific investment direction from this
  • SC
    Sam C.
    29 April 2020 @ 09:58
    Is there a reddit or a discord for the Real vision subscribers?
  • JN
    Jack N.
    28 April 2020 @ 15:22
    fast talking abstractionists. Windbaggery sans details and rigor.
  • SM
    Stephane M.
    24 April 2020 @ 12:28
    There's no answer to climate change cause climate have always change!!
    • PN
      Philip N.
      25 April 2020 @ 00:28
      Climate change was the first one but there were a couple of other questionable statements in there. For example, "no inflation." Really, you didn't notice housing prices, the stock market or the real cost of food in the stores has been going up like crazy. Still it is important to hear from all the different sides on this stuff so I am very glad they had them speak and I would be in favor of them coming back.
    • DS
      David S.
      27 April 2020 @ 07:32
      Yes, the climate always changes. We can, however, keep it from becoming inhospitable. We do not need to live at the whim of nature. We can try to keep our climate in the range that allows us to live. This is the only planet that we can live on in the solar system. Climate change is only one way we are making it more difficult to live on spaceship earth. This is not a state’s rights issue. A state can lockdown or not. Keeping earth habitable is an existential problem – life or death. If we do not solve this problem, the universe will not notice or care. It will be an inconsequential extinction. We can always blame it on the Fed. DLS
    • LS
      Lemony S.
      27 April 2020 @ 18:03
      And David, I was noticing you were doing so well with your comments above this one ... come on man. Just like with coronavirus, this is no problem. It never has been one. The problem is that unlike climate change (formerly global warming, formerly global cooling) "they" were able to finally find an issue to really lord it over us on. The problem for them now is that they overplayed their hand with this farcical overreaction --- all of the data shows this to be a nothing burger, given the way we treat seasonal flu yearly. Your comment on "extinction" is as laughable as the way Fauci and the WHO have contradicted themselves in just a span of weeks. Global, social conformation and bureaucracies that are anti-freedom are the real issue in the world, none of this imaginary danger you talk about.
    • AJ
      Aaron J.
      27 April 2020 @ 18:33
      David said it better than I could have. I assume the majority of RV subscribers are in the US. I cannot understand why so many well-off Americans are in complete denial about climate change. A dogmatic adherence to your capitalistic, unscientific and neo-liberal belief system won’t end well for anyone on this rapidly warming planet.
  • DS
    David S.
    27 April 2020 @ 00:22
    Great discussion. A simple question to Professor Blyth: Is a wee bit of austerity a good thing? I shall watch again now. DLS
    • JF
      Jack F. | Real Vision
      27 April 2020 @ 04:34
      Glad to see you enjoyed it :)
  • DS
    David S.
    27 April 2020 @ 02:01
    Politics is always about power not policy. The US is progressing into a wealth oligarchy. (This is not a conspiracy. It is just what is working in politics now.) Powerful moneyed interest, private and public, are funding candidates, aka lobbyist, to promote their interests - whether good or bad for the common good. In order to effect power, the oligarchs must have their "lobbyist” elected. The political parties identify different constituents who can be united in a voting bloc by all kinds of media, left or right. During the election, platforms are fabricated to further bind the proposed constituents together. The winners of the elections will promulgate policies and legislation that will fulfill their obligations to their oligarchs. (I am a little cynical after all the lockdown, but I do feel that this is the way politics is moving in the US now.) It is a very inefficient system made possible by mass media. Is it no wonder that there are no coherent policies? They are the last thing anyone thinks of. DLS
    • JF
      Jack F. | Real Vision
      27 April 2020 @ 04:33
      I think you're on to something, David...
  • PW
    Phil W.
    26 April 2020 @ 21:25
    Any book link......tia
    • JF
      Jack F. | Real Vision
      27 April 2020 @ 04:28
      Yes! Here is a link to Mark Blyth's book on Austerity: And here is a link to Adam Tooze's book on the Great Financial Crisis: Mark Blyth's new book with macro investor Eric Lonergan, Angrynomics, comes out sometime this summer.
  • KS
    Ken S.
    27 April 2020 @ 02:08
    Liked. For the content as well as for the delightful accents.
  • DM
    Dominic M.
    26 April 2020 @ 02:21
    Great discussion—thank you, gentlemen.
  • DP
    David P.
    25 April 2020 @ 17:01
    Fascinating. Thanks.
  • SL
    Stephen L.
    25 April 2020 @ 11:20
    This is a v good discussion.
  • CP
    Curt P.
    24 April 2020 @ 22:44
    Can you get at least one guest on RV who is geopolitically competent? Perhaps someone from the Naval War College?
    • JA
      Jonathan A.
      25 April 2020 @ 05:38
      They’ve had Gen Robert Spalding a few times. The problem is there are few people who have deep understanding of the complexity of the military with the complexity of the financial system.
  • Hv
    Hannah v.
    25 April 2020 @ 03:30
    Raoul and Team; loving the speed at which y’all are pumping these out. Incredibly impressive!! Also really loving the frontal split-screen “Skype” view; allows us to see facial cues and clues on the topic at hand. A lot is said in the spaces between the words; it’s great to be able to read it. A vast improvement to the opposing-chair regime and prolly a heck of a lot cheaper to produce too. Lock-down business practice change for the WIN! Make it a keeper please.
  • AL
    Adam L.
    25 April 2020 @ 03:21
    3 points regarding the puzzle addressed at 16:00 of how bilateral trade battles and the creation of central bank swap lines can exist simultaneously: 1. China is the primary battleground for the trade battle to prevent the rise of a sino-centric world order. Continue trade imbalances will give them the ability to raise a military power that could enforce order in the belt and road initiative. This is a huge threat to the US dollar reserve platform. 2. China was not offered a swap line. In the case of China, these two ideas are NOT coexisting. 3. Swap lines were offered to nations that help maintain the US dollar reserve platform. None of these countries have massive trade imbalances that give them the ability to rival our idea of world order. Just my 3 cents on it.
  • DM
    Douglas M.
    25 April 2020 @ 01:38
    Huh? The 'hockey stick chart' for climate change? That's been scrapped as it is now a punch line among serious people. The rest of the interview is great - fast paced and info rich.
  • ND
    Nathaniel D.
    24 April 2020 @ 19:11
    Great to see Prof. Blyth on RV, hope he comes back soon! Perhaps for an intellectual sparring match vs. Mike Green!
  • WG
    Wade G.
    24 April 2020 @ 18:30
    Always short on time, I started this on 1 1/2 speed. Yikes. Reset it to 1, but halfway thru, had to double check the setting because it was so energetic and rapid fire. Haha. Thanks for letting us sit in on the chat gentlemen. Lots of food for thought and ideas to come back to.
  • RM
    Russell M.
    24 April 2020 @ 17:29
    Regardless of who is President, the Fed has no choice, it has to buy as many Treasuries as necessary to keep interest rates low and protect the Treasury market. Otherwise the US government cannot continue to increase debt and the house of cards collapses.
  • TS
    Tom S.
    24 April 2020 @ 16:11
    China, the dog that hasn't barked. Prior to the COVID-19 market meltdown Roubini suggested China's prospects for US trade were so bleak that the CCP might conclude the pain to her industries from exercising the so-called "nuclear (debt) option" (liquifying government held US debt) might benefit the CCP itself longer term. Today the CCP released an official cryptocurrency. So far, just a procedural probe.
  • CP
    Curt P.
    24 April 2020 @ 12:47
    Mark Blythe, Very improper to have so much vulgarity - on your wall and from your mouth. Unnecessary. That you two guys don't understand (you admit this) the seeming confusion of the US policy decisions, speaks a lack of geopolitical wisdom. There isn't a single thing in US policy since 2017 that has been a surprise to me.
    • WT
      Walter T.
      24 April 2020 @ 15:18
      Curt, don’t use your dads account..
  • PL
    Paul L.
    24 April 2020 @ 14:41
    Great to see Blyth on RV! Keep bringing him back!
    • JF
      Jack F. | Real Vision
      24 April 2020 @ 15:00
      Glad you liked the interview, Paul. Professor Blyth is soon publishing a book (Angrynomics) with Eric Lonergan, a big-hitter in the macro hedge fund space. Maybe we can have both of them on in a couple months (no promises)
  • PU
    Peter U.
    24 April 2020 @ 14:03
    the guy doing the intro looks like the actor on Home Alone
  • RM
    Richard M.
    24 April 2020 @ 13:18
    Truly fascinating and incredibly interesting conversation - thank you Prof's Blyth and Tooze! Please come back again in 6 months to do another session (with updates on then current subjects like Covid aftermath, financial markets gyrations, and political elections). Hope to see you both again.
  • SM
    Stephane M.
    24 April 2020 @ 11:46 being too afraid of dying, you forget to live...
  • RW
    Richard W.
    24 April 2020 @ 10:58
    I don't know - somewhat interesting but nothing of deep insight. to me they came across as riders of the situation, rather than original thinkers. A number of examples eg arguing over whether this is a black swan - pointless; Hubei same size as Italy - well by that methodology Nigeria is 3x the size of Italy. I rarely give a thumbs down, but on this occasion ...
  • FG
    Flavio G.
    24 April 2020 @ 07:59
    6.7 bn bbls is the total world storage capacity for crude (not including tankers) That's +60 days of the world's consumption. Does the world really need more storage capacity? Or do we need to have production facilities that are more output-flexible? It not only has a cost to build and maintain but it is environmentally questionable to increase storage.
  • JV
    Jason V.
    24 April 2020 @ 07:59
    Well that was NOT a shit idea, at all. Thank you, gentlemen. My mind just grew a bit more.
  • LC
    Luke C.
    24 April 2020 @ 07:48
    Amazing! Blyth is a legend.