Stimulate Until It Hurts

The argument to “stimulate until prosperity returns” is popular because it doesn’t hurt anyone in the short term. When a central bank prints money, its nasty consequence — inflation — takes time to show up. When a government spends borrowed money, repayment is in the future. Nobody feels the pain now. Indeed, when debt is sufficiently long-dated, nobody alive need feel the pain. So analysts who advocate stimulus are popular with politicians because it sounds like a free lunch. Japan’s tale is just a nice story that seems to support the argument.

via The Big Picture » Blog Archive » Change Of Mindset.

This is from a nice piece that examines the Japanese experience (“the lost decade”) and what it portends for the USA (since we are making the same stupid mistakes). But, since you & I can’t change US policy, we face the real question of what to do in response. How do we avoid the coming calamity? Are we really deflating now with inflation around the corner? Or is the deflation that everyone fears really just an artifact of the odd way we look at the data? These are questions that should occupy some of your thinking time.


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