EDITOR'S LETTERJohn Stepek
The taxman cometh
The US government has shut down. Leaders across Europe are locked in terminal bickering. And as Matthew Lynn notes, our politicians are vying to offer the most ridiculous bribes to voters before the 2015 election (they never remind us that they are bribing us with our own cash, of course).
Much of this turmoil is a direct result of politicians handing responsibility for economic management to the world’s central bankers.
In America, market reaction to the shutdown has been fairly muted, because the government stalemate makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will keep printing money.
Over here, Ed Miliband and David Cameron may disagree on whether we should be taking energy prices back to the 1970s, or merely freezing taxes on petrol. But ask either man for his view on where interest rates should be, and they’ll each gratefully pass the buck to the Bank of England. (Chancellor George Osborne has now even handed responsibility for his flagship housing bubble reflation scheme – Help to Buy – to the Bank.)
As for Europe, well, eurozone politicians gave up economic sovereignty to the European Central Bank when they joined the euro.
• Read the full editor’s letter here: The taxman cometh