My Letters to the Editor

3/5/2012: USA Today

To the Editor:

David Stockman rightly worries about a potential byproduct of the Fed's quantitative easing: high future inflation. It is curious, however, that in preparation for this outcome he has chosen to store his wealth in dollars and short-term Treasuries, both of which would be rendered worthless under this scenario! Furthermore, for those of us with longer time horizons and who cannot expect entitlement programs to furnish our retirement, it makes less sense than ever to forsake the investment choices that have proved most fruitful for decades.

Will Hayworth

1/26/2012: The Financial Times

Sir,

There is a deep, sad irony in Occupy London's attempted paean to Friedrich von Hayek. While he was indeed without peer in calling our attention to the virtues of "distributed intelligence in a voluntary co-operative", Occupiers are oblivious to his insight when they call for sweeping policy actions as panacea for social maladies. This is not because Hayek was an anarchist: in fact, he called for a guaranteed income. His eminence as an economist, however, comes from his point that the price system compiles and broadcasts that distributed intelligence in a way that no state ever could. Claiming that they know best how bankers should be paid demonstrates that Occupiers are in fact suffering from the pretense of knowledge. This would chagrin their purported patron saint.

Will Hayworth

11/21/2011: New York Times

To the editor:

In "Central Bankers: Stop Dithering. Do Something.", Adam Posen makes the case for increased monetary stimulus to combat our economic maladies. He advises us to discard our concerns about central bank independence, claiming that further quantitative easing would be akin to taking cholesterol medication to avoid a stroke: likely to help even in the absence of a direct proof of efficacy.

He fails to mention an important aspect of any drug: its side effects. In his position at the Bank of England, Dr. Posen has voted repeatedly for its recent quantitative easing. Is it mere coincidence that UK inflation over the past two years has consistently exceeded the Bank's official 2% target? These policies, furthermore, have purchased no decrease in British unemployment.

It would appear that monetary expansion is more like radiation: therapeutic when controlled, disastrous when emitted indiscriminately.

Will Hayworth

2/24/2011: Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

In "Why I Was Wrong About 'Dow 36,000'", James K. Glassman advises investors to shift from equities to fixed-income assets in light of Knightian uncertainty. I am stunned that he omits any consideration of two factors that deserve investors' attention in light of the financial crisis. First, he fails to mention the importance of international diversification--why should investors subject themselves to the whims of the Fed and, ultimately, the impure incentives of a federal government with an enormous national debt to repay? Second, as a 20 year old, how does he expect members of my generation to deal with our enormous prospective future tax burdens while also seeking less than the highest possible investment returns?

Overlooking monetary policy and the federal fiscal situation harmed pre-crisis portfolios. It will be a shame if this same analytical blindness comes to harm future senior citizens as well.

Will Hayworth
Mount Kisco, NY
3/1/2011 UPDATE: the WSJ published this letter!

7/20/2010: Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Bill Kling recently wrote in your pages ("Government Should Help the Media", Letters, July 20) that "partisan broadcast...outlets are building profitable businesses through the distribution of often distorted and even misleading information." Fair enough. Why, however, does Mr. Kling have so much faith that government-sponsored media does not and will not demonstrate similar biases? Furthermore, why should taxpayers be required to subsidize said partisanship?

Will Hayworth
Mount Kisco, NY

7/19/2010: Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Dr. Alan Blinder recently wrote in your pages that those arguing for extending the 2001 EGTRRA and 2003 JGTRRA tax cuts were doing so with Keynesian logic and claimed that, therefore, their opposition to the stimulus was inconsistent. That's simply not so: much of their concern has been with the reduction of incentives for capital investment, which has helped to fuel our current downturn.

Dr. Blinder, who is clearly himself a Keynesian, seems to believe that savings really is leakage and that the solution to direct those funds towards an immediate boost in aggregate demand. Others see it differently: in a time when corporations are holding abnormally large amounts of cash or extremely liquid assets (and thus revealing a number of potential beliefs about the present and future: for example, regime uncertainty about future economic policy and regulation), it makes no sense to aggravate a perception that this government has a tremendous bias towards short-term malinvestments at the expense of our long-term welfare.

Will Hayworth
Mount Kisco, NY

7/11/2010: New York Times Book Review

To the Editor:

Jennifer Schuessler attempts to distance American conservatism from the thought of Friedrich von Hayek by quoting from his essay "Why I Am Not a Conservative." She would do well to read further in his essay: "This difference between liberalism and conservatism must not be obscured by the fact that in the United States it is still possible to defend individual liberty by defending long-established institutions. To the liberal they are valuable not mainly because they are long established or because they are American but because they correspond to the ideals which he cherishes."

Sincerely,
Will Hayworth