Monday, March 4, 2013

ZIRP Is a Zero-Sum Game

The man with a plan.

"Further deficits are not a viable option, and threaten undesirable long-term consequences. The ideal solution is to pair deficit reduction efforts with policies to stimulate gross domestic investment. 'Investment' in this context does not mean financial investment, but real investment in factories, equipment, capital goods, research, and development. Policies to stimulate investment include investment tax credits, accelerated expensing of investment, R&D incentives, and similar programs....[emphasis author's]

"The only sustainable course to a higher standard of living is to encourage productive investment. Policies like those currently pursued by the Federal Reserve attempt to encourage consumption, but do so by distorting savings and investment decisions toward speculative activity rather than productive investment. Unfortunately, the reluctance of consumers to spend is tightly linked to existing mortgage and consumer debt burdens, many of which remain unserviceable and have not been restructured. Attempts to squeeze greater consumption demand from these individuals, without a strategy to increase productive activity and income, is likely to produce continued failure.

"While policies to stimulate gross domestic investment may be viewed as unwanted 'tax expenditures' in deficit reduction efforts, these policies are critical to prevent the unintended consequence of economic contraction."

John Hussman's commentary appears in full here.

No comments: