Michael Bloomberg said just the other day that the Federal Reserve's low interest rates have, as he put it, "exacerbated the wealth gap between the poor and the rich because the rich have assets. And that is what is being hiked here because of low interest rates, whether they own stocks or real estate or whatever the case may be."
@graylondon explain how rich hot richer. Easy! Fed printed trillions but regulations scared big and small from investing. Ended in W St.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 1, 2015
Actually Fed trillions ended inflating existing assets. Stocks, real estate, art. Is it a bubble?— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 1, 2015
If a political independent such as Mr. Bloomberg, who was twice elected mayor of New York City and who owns one of the largest financial news and information services, and another very successful and shrewd businessman such as Mr. Murdoch, who owns controlling stakes in Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, the two most important right-of-center news organizations in the country, can see and talk about this issue, then what in the world is stopping the presidential candidates, particularly the Republicans, from talking about it?
Jeb Bush grabbed the dollar issue briefly. And it is possible that one of the (at least) 17 Republicans running for president has been out there speaking about this and I have just missed it so far. But if what has been holding the Republican candidates back is that they are afraid of being marginalized as some fringe Ron Paul type, it's hard to find a clearer signal than the ones that just came from Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Murdoch that the Federal Reserve's zero interest rate policy (ZIRP, as it is known) is fair political game.
I'd be satisfied if the Republican candidates would listen to the proprietor of the New York Sun, Seth Lipsky, or the proprietor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, Jim Grant, on this issue. But if Mr. Lipsky's and Mr. Grant's words aren't adequate, then how about those of Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Murdoch? If what's holding the candidates back is fear of "politicizing the Fed," they might recall that they are running for a job that has the power to appoint the Fed's chairman and vice chairman, and that the Democrats are going to do their level best to make wealth inequality a big issue in the election. And if what is holding them back is a concern that all of this is somehow too complicated or obscure for the American people to understand, Mr. Murdoch's tweet — "Easy!" — may be exactly what's needed to get them to rise to the challenge.