The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.
Three out of the five major economies are already experiencing stagnant or negative private credit growth. Three down, two to go. Helicopter money--government issued "free money" to households--is no replacement for private credit expansion.
Systemic fragility doesn't respond to central bank jawboning or Keynesian claptrap; unlike those "policy tools," fragility is real.
The time for more insanity has come... It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don’t work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn’t been enough spending and printing yet.
What’s a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the actual planners, have begun to berate the Fed for inadvertently summoning that great bugaboo of modern-day money cranks, the “ghost of 1937”.
The game is simple: we know that macroeconomics is a fiction from top to bottom, the challenge is to expose it as such. Here are some apparently innocent questions to ask of economists, journalists, financial commentators and central bankers, which are designed to expose the contradictions in their economic beliefs. A pretence of economic ignorance by the questioner is best, because it is most disarming.
Unfortunately, what we are facing now is a predicament, rather than a problem. There is quite likely no good solution. This is a worry. During the last 18 months we have read incessantly that low oil prices, for example, $30 per barrel oil, will stimulate the economy, and the economy will soon bounce back. What is wrong with this story? A lot of things, as we see it...
"Before investors sell 10s, they need the Fed to pause... The curve flattens into March 2s10s with risk off market dynamics and an increasing probability of relent, followed by bear steepening after a Fed pause. Rates could then stabilize or decline, depending on whether recession is avoided or at least postponed."
When markets begin a "bear" cycle, they can remain in an oversold condition for extended periods. There is an important 'truism' to remember - "Markets crash when they’re oversold."
The continued misuse of capital and continued erroneous monetary policies have instigated not only the recent downturn but actually 30 years of an insidious slow moving infection that has destroyed the American legacy. “Recessions” should be embraced and utilized to clear the “excesses” that accrue in the economic system during the first half of the economic growth cycle. Trying to delay the inevitable, only makes the inevitable that much worse in the end.
Those in power never understand markets. They are very myopic in their view of the world. The assumption that lowering interest rates will “stimulate” the economy has NEVER worked, not even once. Nevertheless, they assume they can manipulate society in the Marxist-Keynesian ideal world, but what if they are wrong?
Finland made the news recently by proposing a pilot program of guaranteed income for all, also known as Universal Basic Income: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens. Proponents claim Basic Income can be paid by redirecting existing welfare programs, but a quick review reveals this as nonsense.
Look out below, for even with bloated federal spending, the real economy has hit stall speed.
The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
We will be the first to admit that yield curve inversion is not the only factor causing recessions, but through the credit channel it can be an important contributor. Depending on the importance of the credit channel, the Federal Reserve, by pegging the short term rate at zero, have essentially removed one recessionary market mechanism that used to efficiently clear excesses within the financial system. While stability obsessed Keynesians on a quest to the permanent boom regard this as a positive development, the rest of us obviously understand that false stability breeds instability.