Keynesian Desperados——Krugman Says Print Whatever It Takes

by John Rubino at

The intellectual groundwork is being laid for the next stage of the Money Bubble, and it’s going to be epic. Here are excerpts from two articles that appeared over the weekend (and which should be read in their entirety). Both deal with Japan, which went all-in on debt monetization, lost badly, and now needs a new plan.

The first is from a University of Michigan economics professor:

Japan should be trying out a next-generation monetary policy

Japan is wasting its time trying to raise inflation.

Japan may succeed at bringing annual inflation up to 2%; indeed, it has made some real progress toward that goal. But suppose Japan succeeds in getting inflation up to 2%; would that be enough? The US economy has struggled mightily despite the fact that it went into the Great Recession with a 2% annual rate of core inflation. Japan could try to target an even higher rate of inflation, as Blanchard, Ball and Krugman recommend, or Japan could leave behind quantitative easing and higher inflation targets to make the leap to next-generation monetary policy.

The key to next-generation monetary policy is to cut interest rates directly instead of trying to supercharge a zero interest rate by raising inflation. Of course, cutting interest rates below zero pushes them into negative territory. But Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and the euro zone have already shown that can be done. There is a widespread myth that cutting interest rates much deeper than -0.75% would inevitably cause people and firms to do an end run around those negative interest rates by taking their money out of the banking system as paper currency. Not so!

It is easy to neuter cash taken out of the bank as a way to defeat negative interest rates simply by removing the guarantee that

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