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The Full Case Against Ultra Low and Negative Interest Rates

Yves here. This article by William White, famed for his days at the Bank of International Settlements, when along with Claudio Borio, he warned of housing bubbles forming in many economies in the early 2000s, is consistent with arguments we’ve been making against negative interest rates for many years (see our most recent example, Negative Interest Rates Are Coming, but There Is No Chance That They Will Work). Alan Greenspan forcefully rejected White’s and Borio’s data because markets,

White not only recounts some of the widely-recounted arguments against negative interest rates and ZIRP, such as pushing investors and savers into speculative assets and eliminating low-risk sources of bank income, but also generating deflationary pressures. We’ve argued that central banks are signaling an expectation of low/no inflation and low growth. That combined with crappy returns on safe assets leads many consumers, particularly retirees, to save more to compensate for the lack of income on assets. The savings is further rational because the official signal of low inflation expectations means there should be little in the way of a price penalty for deferring spending. It also reinforces what we saw with the 2014 taper tantrum, that once central banks have painted themselves in a super low interest rate corner, they don’t know how to get out.

By William White, Former Economic Adviser at the Bank for International Settlements, OECD. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

The short-term interest rates set by central banks in advanced economies (above all the Federal Reserve) have been trending down for decades. Indeed, they reached record low levels in both nominal and real terms, and then stayed there for a decade, after the onset of the Great Financial Contraction in 2008. Moreover, with short rates somewhat constrained near zero, central banks then turned to increasingly experimental policy instruments to stimulate spending. Since the pandemic, monetary policy has been eased even further. Central banks have justified these historically unprecedented policy measures as being necessary to offset inflation rates that have persistently undershot inflation targets.

One strand of critical thought has questioned whether this fact alone provides valid grounds for such unprecedented policies. Might it not actually be “natural” for prices to decline in response to productivity increases arising from technological advances and globalization? However, this paper raises critical questions of a different sort, extending the earlier work of Koby and Brunnermeier. They questioned the effectiveness of lower policy rates in stimulating more spending, and in turn higher inflation. They suggested that, as policy rates decline, the profit margin of banks shrink and, beyond a certain point (the “reversal interest rate”), banks lend less, not more.

This paper suggests that this is only one valid reason, among many, to question the effectiveness of lower policy rates in stimulating demand, particularly when used repeatedly over time. Moreover, the paper then considers how unintended consequences can cumulate when reliance is put on ineffective monetary stimulus over so many years. The late Paul Volcker summed up just one of many possible exposures resulting when he said, in his autobiography, “Ironically, the ‘easy’ money striving for a ‘little’ inflation as a means of forestalling deflation, could, in the end, be what brings it about.” This paper finishes with an explicit analysis of how negative interest rates might have distinguishing features from other forms of monetary stimulus.

It is a fact that the recovery from the Great Financial Contraction in 2008-9 was the slowest in the post-war period, despite the extraordinary monetary measures. Doubts about the effectiveness of monetary easing go back at least as far as 1936 when John Maynard Keynes wrote “If, however, we are tempted to assert that money is the drink that stimulates the system to activity, we must remind ourselves that there may be several slips between the cup and the lip.” More recently, similar concerns have been raised that unprecedented policy responses might increase uncertainty and suppress the “animal spirits” necessary to motivate sustained spending. Turning to the components of demand, consumption might also suffer if low rates of accumulation mean people must save more to meet retirement goals. Investment might also fail to respond for a whole variety of reasons.

Perhaps more importantly, there is reason to believe that the effectiveness of monetary stimulus diminishes with extended or repeated use. Lower rates induce people to borrow and to spend today what they would otherwise have spent tomorrow. The ratio of global debt (governments plus households and corporates) to GDP had in fact risen by over 50 percentage points prior to the pandemic. However, if the spending is used for unproductive purposes, as is often the case, then the buildup of debt eventually becomes burdensome and slows future spending. In short, there is a negative feedback loop, once referred to by Chairman Greenspan as “headwinds”. At first, these can be offset by ever more aggressive easing but, as the headwinds grow commensurately, monetary policy eventually ceases to work at all.

Growing ineffectiveness is a problem in itself. The ammunition to fight future battles is no longer available. But a bigger problem is that, if monetary stimulus is sustained for a long period, then undesirable side effects accumulate. The first of these is the higher debt level, which increases systemic risk in almost all states of nature. In the midst of the Great Depression, Irving Fisher sketched out how a debt/deflation process can play out with devastating consequences. As noted above, Paul Volcker shared these concerns quite recently.

However, debt accumulation is not the only unintended consequence of relying on monetary stimulus. Such policies also threaten financial stability in various ways. They pose a danger to the survival of financial institutions and to pension funds by squeezing net returns on traditional assets. Moreover, institutions subject to such threats then “reach for yield” in an attempt to compensate, often leaving themselves open to risks that they had not anticipated and have no experience of managing. A related concern is that of growing “moral hazard.” Every time a problem materializes, the central banks or regulators create another safety net to protect the exposed, which then encourages them to behave even more badly.

Similarly, unusually easy monetary conditions over long periods can threaten the effective functioning of financial markets. In recent years, we have documented: recurrent “flash crashes”; waves of Risk-On and Risk-Off behavior; persistent “anomalies” from normal price relationships; growing evidence that normal “price discovery” has been suppressed; and finally, the near-collapse of the US Treasuries market in September 2019 and March 2020. Moreover, easy monetary conditions lead to continuing increases (bubbles?) in the prices of virtually all financial assets and often to real assets (like houses and other property) as well. For a long while, these price increases can mask the other undesired consequences of easy monetary conditions but, as “fundamentals” eventually reassert themselves, a price collapse can easily follow.

Another side effect of easy monetary conditions could be a reduction in potential growth rates. The possibility of “malinvestments” and wasted resources was raised by Friedrich Hayek in the 1930s and has also been treated increasingly seriously by the BIS, OECD, and IMF in recent years. A well-functioning economy, with expanding growth potential, has ample room for companies to both exit and enter. However, there is growing evidence that easy monetary conditions discourage both processes from working effectively. In many counties, the birth and death rates of companies have in fact been falling sharply as indeed have measures of productivity growth.

Nor is this the end of the list of unintended consequences. Easy money in advanced countries spills over into emerging market countries threatening them with the same kind of distortions and exposures. Rising inequality, especially in the distribution of wealth, can have important social and political implications. Ironically, the extended reach of central bank actions could even threaten their cherished “independence”. Finally, since monetary easing in any individual (big) country generally affects the exchange rate, it invites retaliation (currency wars) and also protectionism (trade wars). None of this is desirable.

A fundamental complication is that once well embarked on this path, it is not obvious how a central bank gets off it. There is a kind of “debt trap.” Tightening policy, given high debt levels and the other unintended consequences of past easing, could trigger the very crisis the initial easing was designed to avoid. Conversely, failing to tighten invites still more unintended consequences.

The paper considers some possible scenarios leading to higher future inflation, but concludes that an excessively disinflationary outcome seems more likely. In this event, fiscal policy will have to be used more aggressively (as has been the case since the pandemic) and orderly debt restructurings should be encouraged. This might require some prior structural reforms. The OECD, the IMF, and the Group of Thirty have all recently contended that existing restructuring procedures in most countries are inadequate to deal with the many insolvencies likely to emerge in the near future.

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34 comments

  1. vlade

    The problem with central bankers these days is that they come from an economist of a banking background.

    And the times when bankers understood a non-banking business are long gone. Hence the belief that low IR spur economy, when at best, it’s a marginal operator that can work ceteris-paribus. But ceteris definitely isn’t paribus in most crisis situations, so IR turn into the proverbial hammer in a search of a nail.

    In other words. Projects are driven by profit. Profit is driven by revenue and cost, but more by revenue. Revenue is driven by disposable income. Disposable income is driven by jobs. Wanna get economy going? Create more well paying jobs.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you and well said, Vlade.

      Having come across central bank economists over the past three decades, I noticed that none had worked in, say, metal bashing. The only one I can recall who has worked outside banking is Spencer Dale, former chief economist at the Bank of England. He went to BP after being passed over for deputy governor for monetary policy. None has ever shown interest in anything other than finance capitalism.

      Just one thing to add to your comment, I can’t recall a trade union economist going to a central bank or being appointed to a monetary policy committee. The ECB’s Wim Duisenberg does not really count. On the rare occasion that one sees trade union leaders comment, they always strike me as being outsiders, if not rabbits being caught in headlights.

    2. RODGER MITCHELL

      Disposable income is driven by money. Want to get the economy going? Pump money into the pockets of the private sector. Labor is not the key. Money is the key. People without jobs (retirees, the young) spend, too.

      1. tegnost

        Reasonable interest rates would provide money for retirees, especially if they had jobs to retire from…

      2. vlade

        That is something you can do when a disaster ala covid/Katrina etc. strikes, but is not a sustainable long-term solution.

        If it was, we could just print all the money in the world and give it to everyone, and we’d have a paradise, where everyone would have anything they wanted and no-one would have to work.

        As much as I like some aspects of UBI, we’re not in a state where we could eliminate work entirely (or even remotely, TBH).

  2. DTK

    “They questioned the effectiveness of lower policy rates in stimulating more spending, and in turn higher inflation.” It is the other way around. High interest rates are inflationary due to the interest income channel. Lower rates decrease inflation. See Mosler’s White Paper:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gvDcMU_ko1h5TeVjQL8UMJW9gmKY1x0zcqKIRTZQDAQ/edit
    Also, it is probably not the case that low rates encourage investment which is similar to the questionable strategy of borrowing to buy a depreciable asset merely to avoid an income tax. Borrowing to meet expected demand makes more sense than to borrow because money is cheap.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We’ve said repeatedly that putting money on sale does not lead to more investment. Businessmen invest to expand when they see opportunity. The cost of funding can be a constraint but it won’t be a spur. The exception is lines of enterprise where the cost of money is the biggest operating cost…such as leveraged financial speculation.

      I’m not a big believer in Mosler’s view of high interest rates producing enough income to generate more spending. Investors want a secure income. High inflation produces great undercertainty as to where individuals and businesses really stand, since prices don’t inflate at the same rate. One big reason stocks were in the toilet in the 1970s was everyone with an operating brain cell knew that published financials didn’t give a good picture of how the enterprise was doing. When it matters whether you use LIFO or FIFO, you know you are in trouble.

      High inflation directly leads to more spending because if you have any dough, you are better off buying any consumables right away and inventorying. When I went to college, I got my annual allowance at the start of the year, I bought as much up front as I could because the money would be worth >4% less by spring in purchasing terms.

      1. DTK

        Yes, I’m not sure that WM shows that enough interest income is spent to spur inflation. It would be a good question for him to answer. Thank You

      2. RODGER MALCOLM MITCHELL

        It has been proven time and again, that increasing the money supply does not cause inflation. All inflations are caused by shortages, most often by shortages of food or energy.

        The belief that money supply causes inflations comes from the hyper-inflation illusion. When nations slide into hyperinflation, many government’s (wrong) response is to create larger denomination currency. (The wheelbarrow full of currency meme.)

        The correct government response would be to create more money and to use that money to eliminate the scarcity, i.e. to buy oil and distribute it to the people at low prices, and/or to aid farmers in the production of food.

        Eliminate the scarcity and you eliminate the inflation.

        1. chuck roast

          “…shortages of food and energy.” Who would know? Food and energy are always “ex” when calculating the official CPI. But you can figure it out when the apple you usually buy for $1.48/lb. goes up overnight to two bucks a pound.

        2. tegnost

          How would you describe this in terms of the scarcity of money in the pockets of homeless people looking for a place to rent in a state of inflated assets caused by low interest rates without creating jobs and raising the evil, evil labours (I like the english spelling today, it sounds and looks so laborious) pay? I realize bezos could have a heart attack, but he would be a really great health care customer,as he could afford it, at least for a while…?

          1. Skip Intro

            How would you describe this in terms of the scarcity of money in the pockets of homeless people looking for a place to rent in a state of inflated assets caused by low interest rates without creating jobs and raising the evil, evil labours (I like the english spelling today, it sounds and looks so laborious) pay?

            The Road To Serfdom ?

        3. Synoia

          Then there is some serious shortage with construction goods (Lumber and Wire). I’m astonished at the cost of a 2×4, or reel of electrical wire at Home Depot.

      3. DTK

        YS,
        I think this would be WM’s answer (from his White Paper):
        “… higher interest rates can impart an expansionary, inflationary (and regressive) bias through two types of channels — interest income channels and forward pricing channels. ” (emphasis mine)
        Thank You

  3. Sound of the Suburbs

    The case for negative rates.

    I am a banker and my only real product is debt.
    Who can I load up with my debt products?
    You’ll do.

    How many of the banker’s debt products can an economy take?
    Let’s find out.

    At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6
    Economies fill up with the banker’s debt products until you get a financial crisis.
    1929 – US
    1991 – Japan
    2008 – US, UK and Euro-zone
    The PBoC saw the Chinese Minsky Moment coming and you can too by looking at the chart above.

    Lower interest rates and you can squeeze a few more of the banker’s debt products into your economy.
    The bankers have reached market saturation globally.
    No one can take any more of their debt products.

    “Go negative” the bankers
    That’s why we need negative rates so we can squeeze more of the banker’s debt products into our economies.

  4. cnchal

    > in the prices of virtually all financial assets and often to real assets (like houses and other property) as well. For a long while, these price increases can mask the other undesired consequences of easy monetary conditions but, as “fundamentals” eventually reassert themselves, a price collapse can easily follow.

    Finally, the word price is used instead of the word value. It always drives me a bit bonkers to read the “value” of something went up or down when what went up or down is price. Price is what is paid, value is what one gets.

    For example, a Rolls is $500,000 which is a price. What value does it have? To me zero. Its an overpriced jalopy with so much digital crapola embedded within they have the route to the scrapyard programmed into memory as soon as a hard to get at Chineseum sensor fails. You can’t get away from that shit with any newish car, therefore all newish cars have a value of zero or less even though the price is through the roof.

    > Every time a problem materializes, the central banks or regulators create another safety net to protect the exposed, which then encourages them to behave even more badly.

    the exposed = filthy rich

    We wouldn’t want the filthy rich to have to sell their valueless Rolls’ to each other to raise money, would we?

    1. Halcyon

      Truly the aphorism for our age is via Wilde: “the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some NFTs to trade

  5. eg

    The answer is in a single sentence towards the end: fiscal policy.

    More specifically, fiscal policy using the principles of functional finance. Then monetary policy returns to its properly secondary role.

  6. fresno dan

    Interest rates.
    What does the FED charge the rich people, and what does your credit card charge you (or people who make less than 50K a year)? Funny how those low, low rates and raising inequality coincide…
    And inflation. As Mish says, deflation in crap, inflation in what you need to LIVE
    https://www.bls.gov/cpi/factsheets/medical-care.htm#A2
    Challenges to pricing health insurance
    Even though insurance premiums are an important part of consumers’ medical spending, the CPI does not directly price health insurance policies. In a direct approach, we would track the movement of insurance premiums, holding constant the quality of insurance, and use these price relatives to build the Health Insurance index. However, the CPI has been unable to consistently control for changes in quality such as policy benefits and risk factors.* Price change between health plans of varying quality cannot be compared, and any quality adjustment methods to facilitate price comparison would be difficult and subjective. As a result, we developed an indirect approach called the retained earnings method.
    …………..
    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/life-expectancy-vs-health-expenditure
    The US, bar none, manages to pay more for health care and live less than any other country. It takes an immense amount of GDP dedicated to obfuscating what is obvious to run such a grift for decades.

    * Health insurance companies abilities to innovate new and novel ways of cheating, grifting, and scamming policy holders is almost infinite, as well as the fact that health insurers have much more influence upon legislators than citizens.

    1. Laura in So Cal

      It is so interesting to me that in our low interest rate environment where my money market checking account pays 0.5% interest, a mortgage (secured credit) can be had for 3%, my credit cards’ interest rates vary from 9% (credit union card) to 16% (Chase). We have excellent credit, and we don’t pay these rates since we pay off our cards each month, but why aren’t these rates dropping as well?? Because they don’t have to I guess.

    2. Dugless

      As you can see from this link which presents credit card interest rates over the past 30 years, the average interest rate on credit cards with balances has been steadily rising despite the lowering of rates by the federal reserve. https://wallethub.com/edu/cc/historical-credit-card-interest-rates/25577. What this says to me is that the well off are able to get lower mortgage rates and those with access to capital can take advantage of the cheap credit but people who need help the most are not being helped at all by federal reserve interest rate policy. In fact, they are getting screwed and inequality is continuing to rise despite lower rates. Wealthy people can usually pay off their credit cards and in essence pay no interest for that convenience. I wonder if banks, who are generally hurt by low interest rates, are trying to make up for this loss of profit by going after the lower earning classes who have very poor access to credit except at usurious rates. I would be interested to know others thoughts on this.

      1. fresno dan

        Dugless
        March 18, 2021 at 2:51 pm

        In fact, they are getting screwed
        I am willing to concede that poorer people present more of a credit risk than rich people. But what is going on here is the equivalent of strip mining. Outlandish late check fees, late payment fees, etcetera. Just the total exploitation of the poorest and weakest to increase the profit and wealth of the most evil and powerful. A pay any price, bear any burden, endure any hardship to maintain our great wealth inequality. It astounds me how we endure it…

        1. Dugless

          If the government really wanted to solve this problem, they could start a postal banking system to provide reasonable credit to the poorer part of society with government backing. I don’t recall hearing any fed bankers making this proposal. Granted, I don’t follow a lot of what they say so maybe they have advocated for this but not with any force. They are a lot of ways the government could help reduce inequality if it wanted to.

  7. rick shapiro

    How to get out of the aforementioned debt trap is clear; the Fed can’t do it, so the government must step up with significant fiscal stimulus. Then the Fed will be able to raise rates in order to restrain inflation, correct asset inflation, and give itself room for possible monetary stimulus in the future.

  8. Mikel

    People with a myopic focus on money think everybody is incentivized by the little changes here and there in interest rates.
    That’s why they do not understand savers or rather the wide variety of wants and needs among people who save.

  9. John Steinbach

    The author seems to view growth as a given “desirable,” and that “easy money” leads to more debt acting as a drag on growth. It seems to me that given all the various ecological, resource, demographic, etc. limits to growth, the current easy money and debt-based economy is largely a reflection of the reality of a limit-based reality. It is clear to me that future economic growth is both undesirable, and impossible.

    1. Susan the other

      I’m with you on this one. There is an undeniable underlying reality here. Interest rates and inflation can be manipulated to create a reasonably functioning economy. Whatever way we choose to do it but only if we do debt forgiveness across the board. It’s really absurd to consider raising interest rates when there is this much debt everywhere. Around the world. And the good news is the debt could all be gone in a flash crash. And then interest rates can be reset wherever they create the best balance. We aren’t hapless victims of debt. We’re just not willing to do the obvious thing. The one huge underlying reality I see is falling birth rates. I consider that a good thing. But as populations fall around the world economies will have to be adjusted. Not only are birthrates falling and families are not forming to raise children to keep economies inflated, but the baby boom and the next cohort of seniors right behind them are in the majority in many if not most countries. That means even more debt and consumer fatigue. I, for one, am too lazy to go buy new stuff. I’m probably not going to be around long enough to use up the stuff I’ve already got. And my old car is running better then I am. There is “disinflation” wherever you look. So the debt trap is just a big hangover and the best medicine is to write it all off. As White points out however, “the existing restructuring procedures in most countries are inadequate.” Therein lies the biggest problem. But it really shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s a question of who goes first. I will if you will. And the bottom line is that writing off the debt still leaves everything of value in place. So economies can keep on going – but hopefully on a sustainable level. It’s such a no-brainer.

  10. dummy

    In Hume’s words, “We have always found, where a government has mortgaged all its revenues, that it necessarily sinks into a state of languor, inactivity, and impotence.”

  11. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    The entire charade of central banks ‘fine tuning’ the economy, ‘meddling’, or central planning, or what have you; has become the necessary and sufficient continual aid that the so-called ‘invisible hand’ requires in order to avert complete systemic economic collapse. It is no coincidence, one supposes, that the greatest beneficiaries of speculative asset inflation in the current low interest rate environment happen to be those that sit on very top of the economic pyramid, i.e. the owners of capital. It is also an unequivocal truism that the following theoretical description has become the steady state, status quo, global reality:

    “In addition to these pragmatic goals, the powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent and private meetings and conferences.”

    Further, the standard method of controlling deflationary pressures and securing profit in capitalist economies has been the destruction of surplus goods in order to maintain floor prices. That method is still relied upon on a regular basis, for example:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-warehouses-trash-millions-of-unsold-products-say-media-reports/

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/02/coronavirus-devastates-agriculture-dumped-milk-euthanized-livestock.html

    And, it is in fact, the economic natural order of things historically; where,

    “Steinbeck’s observations were a depiction of reality: During the Great Depression, plummeting prices and adverse weather conditions resulted in a crisis for the U.S. farming industry and its stock. Government intervention in the early 1930s led to “emergency livestock reductions,” which saw hundreds of thousands of pigs and cattle killed, and crops destroyed as Steinbeck described, on the idea that less supply would lead to higher prices.”

    https://time.com/5843136/covid-19-food-destruction/

    So, the “under consumption” vs the “overproduction” “paradox” in capitalist societies continues with the global factory producing goods nonstop based on the mythical assumption that individual needs and wants are infinite. They are not and could never be because:

    First, once one moves past adolescence, the ability to be hypnotized by marketing forces diminishes and one quickly realizes if one does not need something, then one does not buy that something. Second, materialism and the obsession with possessions, conspicuous wealth, and consumption for the sake of consumption, seems to be a poor way to define the significance of one’s existence. Third, the environmental externalities due to profligate waste along with the built in structural economic inefficiencies and contradictions remain unaddressed, but cannot remain unaddressed forever on a finite world. Fourth, pleonexia and the wealth inequality that accompanies it has become central to the economic feedback loop and that altar upon which all else is sacrificed, or so it would appear. Eventually, ‘things fall apart and the center cannot hold’ and no amount of tinkering will forestall that inevitability.

    1. dummy

      Can’t agree more.
      Perpetual growth is a the mechanism of a cancer cell.
      There is a manifest contradiction between growth policies being pursued by promoting consumption and environmental challenges.

  12. Sound of the Suburbs

    Using neoclassical economics we have repeated the mistakes of the 1920s.
    Global policymakers have been using the economic growth model of the US in the 1920s.

    At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6
    No one realises the problems that are building up in the economy as they use an economics that doesn’t look at debt, neoclassical economics.
    As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans, as it did in the 1920s in the US.
    The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn’t consider debt, like neoclassical economics, as it did in 1929.
    1929 – US
    1991 – Japan
    2008 – US, UK and Euro-zone
    The PBoC saw the Chinese Minsky Moment coming and you can too by looking at the chart above.
    The Chinese were lucky; it was very late in the day.

    The US was first and plunged into the Great Depression.
    The Japanese were next, and could study the Great Depression to avoid this fate.

    We really need to understand debt deflation to see the problem.
    We need to know how banks really work.

    The zero sum nature of the monetary system is not understood by policymakers.
    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
    Money and debt come into existence together and disappear together like matter and anti-matter.
    Bank loans create money and debt repayments to banks destroy money.
    Bank loans create 97% of the money supply
    The money supply ≈ public debt + private debt
    Money and debt are like opposite sides of the same coin.

    Richard Koo used to be a central banker at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and he looked at both sides of the bank’s balance sheets during the Great Depression.
    Richard Koo shows the US money supply / banking system (8.30 – 13 mins):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk
    1) 1929 before the crash – June 1929
    2) The Great Depression before the New Deal – June 1933
    3) During the New Deal – June 1936

    The money supply ≈ public debt + private debt
    The “private debt” component was going down with banks going bust and deleveraging from a debt fuelled boom causing debt deflation (a shrinking money supply).
    It was the public borrowing and spending of the New Deal that helped the economy recover.
    The money supply ≈ public debt + private debt
    The New Deal restored the money supply by increasing the “public debt” component of the money supply.
    Once the New Deal was working, they reduced Government borrowing and plunged the nation back into recession again.
    The enormous public spending and borrowing of WW2, eventually sorted things out.

    It’s all about maintaining the money supply to avoid debt deflation.
    The money supply ≈ public debt + private debt
    If the private debt term is going down, you want the public debt term to go up to compensate.
    Japan used fiscal policy to maintain the money supply as they deleveraged. This was the lesson of the New Deal.
    They paid down private debt and used Government borrowing and spending to maintain the money supply as they deleveraged to avoid debt deflation.

    The money supply ≈ public debt + private debt
    We have been maintaining the money supply by increasing the private debt component, which was too high already.
    There is only one way to do this.
    Keep interest rates close to zero, and go negative if you have to.
    We have painted ourselves into a corner; there is no way out this way.

  13. nothing but the truth

    this car is far beyond repair now.

    somewhere, plans for the next international money system are already being built.

    something tells me it will not be pure fiat anymore.

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