Ryan Cooper: Hear that, Janet Yellen? The economy is screaming for help: “If we accept the increasingly plausible view that without this stimulus…

…the economy would immediately crash, this suggests that even for hawks who are deeply uncomfortable with unconventional stimulus, the quickest way to get the Fed to stop doing it is to stimulate so aggressively that interest rates can be gotten off the zero lower bound. As Ryan Avent argued two years ago:

One wants to scream, try overshooting for once. Try overshooting for once! Try it! Try pushing inflation up above 2 percent for a while and see if you can’t generate enough growth to soak up some slack in the economy, thereby greatly reducing the risk that any little headwind that comes along knocks the economy back below stall speed. Try it! There is no way that a year of 3 percent inflation is bad enough to justify this pitiful hiccuping recovery. Try overshooting! [The Economist]

If the actual explanation for the Fed’s behavior is a monomaniacal concern for inflation above all things, then we’re basically screwed. But if hawkish Fed elites are actually prolonging their own agony, they might be convinced to change their mind. The worst quarter of GDP in five years is an opportune time to do it…