When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Central Bankers, Monetary Policy, Trapped

Central bankers are caught in their own trap - FT.com: 11/2/2014:
The notion that developed economies are in a “liquidity trap” – where printing money no longer has any effect – is treacherous. The problem is partly semantic but semantics can shape politics. A trap is hard to spot and difficult or impossible to escape. The implication is that monetary policy makers have done everything possible. In liquidity trap models of the economy, the central bank is impotent. Although it can create money at will, this power no longer provides influence over interest rates or the ability to give the economy a boost. The reason this is said to happen is a supposed “zero lower bound” on interest rates. Central banks stimulate spending and investment by increasing the money supply. With more liquidity in the economy than people want to hold, they try to buy profitable assets for their cash. This drives market interest rates down. But when nominal rates are (near) zero, investors can hold all the liquidity the central bank throws at them without missing out on returns elsewhere, so money printing loses its power to pull market rates further down – even if that is what the economy needs fully to employ its resources.... (read more at the link above)

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Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

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