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Bitcoin-hating fed president calls for strict economic lockdown

Bitcoin-hating fed president calls for strict economic lockdown

Neel Kashkari is seemingly at odds with his party over how to control COVID-19.

CRYPTO PRICES INCREASE. BUT ARE THEY INFLATIONARY ASSETS? IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK

 

In brief

  • The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, has called for another strict lockdown.
  • This is at odds with President Donald Trump, who spoke unfavorably on Monday about lockdowns.
  • Kashkari's ideas have previously confounded the crypto community.

The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has called for another lockdown to save the US economy.

In a Friday New York Times op-ed, Neel Kashkari wrote that in order to “save lives, and save the economy, we need another lockdown.” 

Along with Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Kashkari said that a “more restrictive lockdown,” state by state, is necessary to “crush the spread” of COVID-19. 

 

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He argued that “what we have done so far hasn’t worked,” and proposed that the new lockdown be for up to six weeks—and stricter than before. Not only will a stricter lockdown save lives but “there won’t be a robust economic recovery until we get control of the virus,” wrote Kashkari. 

The cryptocurrency community has also been at odds with Kashkari since he said in March that the Federal Reserve has an “infinite amount of cash”—prompting Bitcoiners to push the argument for the inflation-proof digital asset.  

In February, Kashkari likened cryptocurrencies to a “giant garbage dumpster,” arguing that the US dollar’s scarcity is what makes it valuable. One month later, the Federal Reserve launched a record $2.3 trillion rescue package.

Such a large stimulus package is regarded by some Bitcoin-faithfuls as a reckless; Bitcoin's monetary policy, however, is hard-coded into its consensus mechanism. 

A life-long Republican, Kashkari’s views may seem to conflict with those of his party—and president. Only this week President Donald Trump said that “a permanent lockdown is not a viable path” for controlling the pandemic. 

“Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future,” he said at a Monday press conference. “They just don’t. It comes back many times, it comes back.”    By Mathew Di Salvo