Found 377 article(s) in category 'Monetary Policy'

The Perils of Debt Complacency

The Perils of Debt Complacency. Carmen Reinhart, September 28, 2016, Opinion, ““What a government spends the public pays for. There is no such thing as an uncovered deficit.” So said John Maynard Keynes in A Tract on Monetary Reform.  But Robert Skidelsky, the author of a magisterial three-volume biography of Keynes, disagrees. In a recent commentary entitled “The Scarecrow of National Debt,” Skidelsky offered a rather patronizing narrative, in a tone usually reserved for young children and pets, about his aged, old-fashioned, and financially illiterate friend’s baseless anxiety about the burden placed on future generations by the rising level of government debt.Link

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Why shredding $100 bills could be great for the economy

Why shredding $100 bills could be great for the economy. Kenneth Rogoff, September 17, 2016, Video, “While more than half of all transactions in the US are electronic—think debit cards, Apple Pay and Venmo—there’s still a record $1.4 trillion in physical currency, from pennies to $100 bills, circulating in the global economy. That’s almost double the amount from a decade ago, and about 80% of that cash is in $100 bills. These large bills could be making us poorer and less safe, says Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard economist and author of the new book “The Curse of Cash.” For Rogoff, the benefits of phasing out both $50 and $100 bills are two-fold: It would hamper criminal activity and aid monetary policy.Link

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The Fed’s Stress Tests Need to Be Transparent

The Fed’s Stress Tests Need to Be Transparent. Hal Scott, September 16, 2016, Opinion, “The stress tests that big American banks face each year are about to get more stressful. The Fed is planning to substantially increase—by an average of 57%, we calculate—the regulatory capital that the eight largest banks in the U.S. need to pass the annual tests.  Had these expected higher capital levels been in effect this year, it is likely that the country’s four largest banks ( J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup) all would have failed the test. As a consequence, they would have been barred from remitting more profits to their shareholders.Link

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Why Taxing Fairly Means Not Taxing Inheritances

Why Taxing Fairly Means Not Taxing Inheritances. N. Gregory Mankiw, September 9, 2016, Opinion, “Does it make sense to tax inheritances and, if so, how much? The answer to this question is a perennial political football. President George W. Bush, to whom I was an adviser, pushed for the elimination of the estate tax. He succeeded, but only briefly. In 2001, he signed legislation that phased out the tax and eliminated it in 2010. But the tax was back in 2011.Link

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The Fed thinks it can fight the next recession. It shouldn’t be so sure.

The Fed thinks it can fight the next recession. It shouldn’t be so sure. Lawrence Summers, September 8, 2016, Opinion, “As I argued in the first blog post in this series last week, I was disappointed in what came out of The Federal Reserve’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for three reasons. The first reason, as I wrote in that post, was that the Federal Reserve should have signaled a desire to exceed its 2 percent inflation target during periods of protracted recovery and low unemployment, and in this context to signal that a rate increase was off the table for September and quite likely the rest of the year. Friday’s employment report further strengthens the case for delay both by adding to the evidence on the absence of inflation pressures and by suggesting a less robust economy than most expected.Link

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The Curse of Cash

The Curse of Cash. Kenneth Rogoff, 2016, Book, “The world is drowning in cash—and it’s making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff, one of the world’s leading economists, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.  Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.Link

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The Sinister Side of Cash

The Sinister Side of Cash. Kenneth Rogoff, August 25, 2016, Opinion, “When I tell people that I have been doing research on why the government should drastically scale back the circulation of cash—paper currency—the most common initial reaction is bewilderment. Why should anyone care about such a mundane topic? But paper currency lies at the heart of some of today’s most intractable public-finance and monetary problems. Getting rid of most of it—that is, moving to a society where cash is used less frequently and mainly for small transactions—could be a big help.Link

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The Easy Money Contagion

The Easy Money Contagion. Carmen Reinhart, August 24, 2016, Opinion, “To consider the actions taken by the world’s major central banks in the past month is to invite an essential question: when – and where – will all this monetary easing end? At the end of July, the Bank of Japan announced that it would maintain its current negative interest rates and bond-buying program. At the same time, the BOJ pledged that it would nearly double its annual purchases of equity-traded funds, from ¥3.3 trillion ($32.9 billion) to ¥6 trillion. And yet the announcement of a monetary-policy package that in a different era would have been considered inconceivably accommodative, actually disappointed financial markets. To the chagrin of Japanese policymakers, the yen strengthened against major currencies.Link

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What We Need to do to Get Out of this Economic Malaise

What We Need to do to Get Out of this Economic Malaise. Lawrence Summers, August 18, 2016, Opinion, “John Williams has written the most thoughtful piece on monetary policy that has come out of the Federal Reserve in a long time. He recognizes more explicitly than others that, the neutral interest rate, is now very low and quite probably will remain very low for a long time to come.  As he recognizes, this the essence of the secular stagnation concern that I and others have been expressing for the past three years.Link

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Harvard’s Martin Feldstein: Labor Market Remains Tight

Harvard’s Martin Feldstein: Labor Market Remains Tight. Martin Feldstein, August 4, 2016, Opinion, “Former Reagan Economic Advisor and current George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University Martin Feldstein weighed in on concerns about the deficit and the state of the U.S. economy and job market.” Link

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