If you borrow then it’s not income. This is why no one in his right mind borrows to buy consumer goods. Those who try cannot sustain it for long… But what if someone else borrows?
Central bank apologists assert that zero interest will help the economy. It hasn’t yet, and it never will. However, the main concern by both Fed defenders and foes alike is the worry that prices might rise. Well, prices aren’t rising now. So the former are smug and the latter are frustrated.
They miss the real harm of zero interest.
To make people eat their seed corn, we need to add the essential element: a perverse incentive. Let’s look at monetary policy in this light.
I wrote a story about poor Clarence who retired in 1979, and even poorer Larry who retired last year. I created these characters to challenge the notion of calculating a real interest rate by subtracting inflation. The idea is that the decline of a currency can be measured by the rate of price increases. This price-centric view leads to the concept of purchasing power—the amount of stuff that a dollar can buy. It’s the flip side of prices. When prices rise, purchasing power falls.
A woman will be on the new $10 bill, bumping Alexander Hamilton aside.
The notion of nominal interest paints a misleading picture of losing purchasing power..
The stories are all over the Internet. Governments are forcing us into a cashless society. Supposedly the pretext is terrorism, and the real reason is to take more control.
Fed apologists argue that the economy would be even more unstable, if we had no monetary central planner. However, the fact is that it became a lot less stable after the Fed was created.
The biggest deflation in the history of the country came after the Fed was founded, and that deflation contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s. As for bank failures, they reached levels unheard of before there was a Federal Reserve System.