PART ONE OF A TRIPLE-HEADER ABOUT LOST CONFIDENCE IN MONETARIST SOLUTIONS
From the slog:
Not that many of you are interested, but the Yen is strengthening against the Dollar. This now lumbers Japan not just with the biggest debt in the world, but also one of the strongest – ie most expensive – currencies in that very same world.
This has happened because, from having previously been simply Nips, the Japanese central has been taken over by the Nirps….followers, that is, of a negative interest rate policy. To the best of my knowledge, only one commentator (an American journalist) saw the move coming; and since it was introduced, almost everyone underestimated the immediate effect it would have. This means that if you and I are confused by the varietal illogic involved in all this, it’s OK: so is everyone else.
Or perhaps, the confusion is far from OK.
When everything is connected, everything has unpredictable consequences. This fact alone should be enough to consign globalism to a footnote in history. Were it my decision, I’d insist on digging up Ted Levitt’s remains and scattering them across the oceans of the world. But in reality, Levitt was just another half-baked Ivory Tower Ivy League intellectual whose potty (and provably wrong) ideas about a Global Village were eagerly taken up by economic colonialists everywhere. He should’ve been universally discredited decades ago, but the reason his theory remains the planet’s default business model is that he was spouting exactly the kind of codswallop greedy multinationals and banks wanted to hear.
Globalism makes it easy to evade tax, move jobs offshore, pay slave wages in Asia, claim they didn’t know about stuff, move sovereign spies in under cover, bribe poor governments, amass illegal power, price-attack local competition until it goes to the wall, and cut production costs by insisting that one size fits all.
But unfortunately for everyone outside the 3%, it makes everything far too complex and interdependent to grasp, let alone control. Worse still, bamboozling business journalists and analysts becomes easier than falling off a log….and hiding the real financial condition of a business.
Overall, a globally connected econo-fiscal planet diffuses focus and catches even very smart people off guard.
The ‘idea’ of Nirp is to incentivise banks to lend to companies, so companies can invest more. It’s the same objective as QE – to get banks to do what they don’t want to do, or business doesn’t want in the first place: In Japan, a few banks are wary of lending, but mostly there is little or no demand for their loans. The main problem with most monetarist tosh is that it doesn’t ‘get’ the anthropology of business any more than communism does.
The theory goes that only an idiot would keep their money in a central bank where they have to pay for the dubious privilege: so better to lend it to business. That idea is flawed first because it’s trying to solve a problem that isn’t there, and second because of the lind spot about human emotions: Japan’s problem is complex and longstanding; but the two biggest factors are confidence among business/consumers and motives among banks.
full article at source: