"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, October 19, 2013

zero lower bound / liquidity trap & the monetary base

ZLB Denial by Krugman
Yes — if back in 2007 you denied the existence of liquidity traps, that is, denied that the zero lower bound on short-term interest rates places limits on monetary policy, you should long since have acknowledged that you were very, very wrong: 

Since late 2007 the monetary base has risen more than 300 percent, while GDP and consumer prices have risen less than 20 percent. And no, the disconnect is not all due to the 0.25 percent interest rate the Fed pays on reserves.

You can argue that the Fed could have done more — it could have expanded its balance sheet even further, and/or moved into riskier assets, and/or done more to change expectations. But I don’t see how you can deny that making monetary policy effective has been far harder since we hit the ZLB than it was before, and that this retroactively casts great doubt on Friedman’s claims that the Fed could easily have prevented the Great Depression.

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