Signs of Monetary Restraint

Lacy Hunt writes… our current lower rate and inflation circumstances are due to lower velocity of money, higher debt, and poor demographics. Therefore, a larger percentage decline in inflation and interest rates can be expected. Even a mild recession in 2019 would put the Fed in an untenable situation.
It is conceivable that the Fed, constrained by the zero-bound interest rates and in attempting to raise economic activity, could engage in another untested experiment with unforeseen consequences to boost debt levels. If that occurs, the U.S. debt overhang would worsen and the country would follow a path pursued by other heavily indebted countries such as Japan, Europe and China. The risk is rising that the U.S. will not only return to zero short rates but, as they have in Japan, might remain there for several years.


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