Easy Money


Wanna know what’s driving inequality? While failing to stimulate Main Street…

Recent quote by economist and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers from the Washington Post:

“In the face of inadequate demand, the world’s primary strategy is easy money. Base interest rates remain at essentially floor levels throughout most of the industrial world. While the United States is tapering quantitative easing, Japan continues to ease on a large scale and Europe seems to be moving closer to taking such a step. All this is better than the kind of tight money that in the 1930s made the Depression great. But it is highly problematic as a dominant growth strategy.

“We do not have a strong basis for supposing that reductions in interest rates from very low levels have a large impact on spending decisions. We do know that they strongly encourage leverage, that they place pressure on return-seeking investors to take increased risk, that they inflate asset values and reward financial activity. The spending they induce tends to come at the expense of future demand. We cannot confidently predict the ultimate impacts of the unwinding of massive central bank balance sheets on markets or on the confidence of investors. Finally, a strategy of indefinitely sustained easy money leaves central banks dangerously short of response capacity when and if the next recession comes.”

What we see here is the continuation of a policy that:

  1. rewards leveraged risk taking,
  2. punishes saving,
  3. creates asset bubbles,
  4. discourages job creation,
  5. and puts us all at greater risk of a economic correction.

All this to save a few politicians’ and bureaucrats’ hides for their egregious errors in the past (and future!).