Friday, September 30, 2016

Secular Stagnation or Self-Inflicted Malaise?
Central Banks Have Kicked The Can Down The Road
"Monetary policy preempted the creative destruction that could have formed the basis for a new upswing in growth. Asset holders talked central bankers into believing that Schumpeter’s economic cycle could be overcome by large-scale bond purchases financed via the printing press, and by corresponding interest-rate reductions .. They prevented sufficient numbers of young entrepreneurs and investors from risking a new start. Instead, established firms remained in place, keeping themselves afloat but lacking the wherewithal for new investments. In Japan and Europe, in particular, large numbers of such zombie firms and banks survived, and they are now blocking would-be competitors able to drive the next upswing in growth. The resulting economic ossification looks like the secular stagnation that Hansen described; in fact, the malaise is self-inflicted .. And, because low interest rates have reduced asset managers’ returns, some central banks – and the European Central Bank, in particular – have relied on successive interest-rate cuts in an effort to engineer ersatz value gains for assets. The economy is thus caught in a trap, forcing the ECB to engage in ever more radical monetary-policy measures. Its current program of quantitative easing is meant to double the money supply in a very short period. Further guns are being moved into position, such as successively more negative nominal interest rates or so-called helicopter money .. The only way out of the trap is a hefty dose of creative destruction .. The sooner this purge is allowed to take place, the milder it will be."
- Hans Werner-Sinn*
LINK HERE to the essay

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