2016-02-20 — marketwatch.com
In what could well be a final act of desperation, central banks are abdicating effective control of the economies they have been entrusted to manage. First came zero interest rates, then quantitative easing, and now negative interest rates -- one futile attempt begetting another.
Just as the first two gambits failed to gain meaningful economic traction in chronically weak recoveries, the shift to negative rates will only compound the risks of financial instability and set the stage for the next crisis.
... As Nomura economist Richard Koo has argued about Japan, the focus should be on the demand side of crisis-battered economies, where growth is impaired by a debt-rejection syndrome that invariably takes hold in the aftermath of a "balance sheet recession."
... Central banks have ignored the risks of financial instability. Drawing false comfort from low inflation, overly accommodative monetary policies have led to massive bubbles in asset and credit markets, resulting in major distortions in real economies. When the bubbles burst and pushed unbalanced economies into balance-sheet recessions, inflation-targeting central banks were already low on ammunition -- taking them quickly into the murky realm of zero policy rates and the liquidity injections of quantitative easing.
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