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Tag Archives: Interest rates

Our over-reliance on monetary policy is the problem

I am going to argue here that monetary policy is both less effective than fiscal policy, and that over-reliance on it unnecessarily politicizes monetary policy by putting unelected officials in too prominent an economic role. I would argue that monetary policy should never be the primary macro policy driver in any economy. Yet, when you look around the world it is in almost every advanced economy. It is certainly that way in the eurozone, where interest rates are negative and the...

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Why what economists are now saying about inflation matters

The US Personal Income and Outlays report for June 2019 came out this morning. It showed personal income increasing 0.4% and wages and salaries increasing 0.5% last month. These are good numbers. And in conjunction with a lot of other data we have seen recently, it should put to rest worries we have seen about an imminent recession. But, over the medium-term, it makes sense for economists to worry about a potential downturn, especially given the weakening growth we have seen in...

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Yield curve weirdness

Yield curves have gone mad. Negative yields are everywhere, from AAA-rated government bonds to corporate junk. Most developed countries have inverted yield curves, and a fair few developing countries do too:(chart from yields and widespread yield curve inversion, particularly though not exclusively on safe assets. To (mis)quote a famous pink blog, this is nuts, but everyone is pretending there will be no crash.Here, for your enjoyment, is an à la carte...

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The Fed’s Pickle

This is a follow-up to my subscriber post from earlier today on the US economy. For those of you who are not paying subscribers, let me summarize the post by saying I think the US economy is slowing but not in a recession. Nevertheless, I think we are likely to see a recession before the end of 2020. That’s actually my base case. The obvious questions regard policy responses, particularly the Fed’s. So I am writing this post to address some of that. 50 basis points won’t happen A...

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The problem with Europe

I have been troubled by the lack of policy space in Europe for some time now, particularly as it concerns Italy. But this is coming to a head for me this morning, with the German government auctioning 10-year paper at 24 basis points below zero and some German interest rates almost 70 basis points below zero. So I want to explain what I see as the challenges ahead as well as the opportunities. By the way, this is one of the occasional free Credit Writedowns posts I write. If you...

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