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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-me-worry? dept.

Some time ago we discussed negative interest rates here on Soylent News. At that time there was some discussion of deflation and why it is such a mixed bag for consumers, companies, and countries.

The Economist has an article that explains deflation rather succinctly.

It turns out that deflation is bad because we are all so burdened with Debt. Not only personal debt, but corporate debt, and national debts. You end up paying debts with money that is more and more dear as time goes on.

Deflation poses several risks, some well-understood, one not. One familiar danger is that consumers will put off spending in the expectation that things will get even cheaper, further muting demand. Likewise, if prices fall across an economy but wages do not, then firms’ margins will be squeezed and employment will stagnate or decline. (Neither of these dangers is yet visible; indeed, America and Britain are seeing strong employment growth.) A third, well-known risk is debt deflation: debts become more onerous because the amount that is owed does not fall, even as earnings do. This is a big worry in the euro zone, where many banks are already stuffed with dud loans.

But in addition, all tools of Monetary Policy become useless.

The least-understood danger is also the most serious, because it is already here. Deflation makes it harder to loosen monetary policy. All of which means that policymakers risk having precious little room for manoeuvre when the next recession hits.

While some have been eager to see monetary policy reigned in, we did see the effects of this during the height of the recent depression, (which some claim we are still suffering from).

The US Federal Reserve had run out points it could cut when lending money to large banks. There were periods in 2010 where the Fed was lending money to banks at Zero Interest Rate. The link explains a number of serious risks with this policy.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:03PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:03PM (#147785) Journal

    As more and more people feel the pain, more and more attention will be paid to Congress, and which Congressmen's tongue says one thing but his pen does another.

    Fresh back from a family trip to DC during the kids' Winter Break, I am happy to report that the trees lining the National Mall have excellent limbs and will serve well as hanging trees. They are planted three deep a side and each can accommodate at least six; there is plenty of room for Congress, the Whitehouse, and the Supreme Court. Alas, for the multitudes of lawyers and lobbyists in that place we shall have to ask the good people of Virginia and Maryland to lend us a few million trees.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2) by redneckmother on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:26PM

    by redneckmother (3597) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:26PM (#147792)

    Now I understand why the US outlawed growing hemp.

    Mas cerveza por favor.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:32PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:32PM (#147797) Journal

      Yes, it makes excellent rope.

      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by fadrian on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:57PM

        by fadrian (3194) on Saturday February 21 2015, @05:57PM (#147824) Homepage

        Yes, but won't our leaders get silk ropes, anyway, as nobles are wont to do?

        That is all.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21 2015, @08:34PM (#147882)

    Trees are reusable for purposes like this. I'd rather start with the people on k street myself.