Central bankers debating the limits of power in Jackson Hole are wondering what's holding back the economy.
"What is holding the economy back? Why is it that we've had such incredibly accommodative monetary policy for so long (but) we've had so little growth? I think it remains a puzzle," said Donald Kohn, who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.
Adam Posen, who finished his final day as a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy on Friday and is a powerful advocate for more forceful central bank action, asked the same question as Kohn: "Why has all this lower short-term interest rates failed to make the economy go go go?" He argued that policymakers in Europe and the United States should waste no time in extending asset purchase programs to spur growth.
Central bankers and economists are so wrapped up in warped mathematical formulas they fail to understand the obvious. The answer, which they refuse to accept, or even consider as a possibility, is that central bankers and the monetary system itself are the problem.