Yesterday, John Carney at CNBC had a nice little post comparing Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis with some of the thinking by Friedrich von Hayek behind Austrian Business Cycle Theory. John rightly points to this passage as “a theory about banking as an endogenous destabilizer of the economy.” And this certainly fits with the Minsky view of the world. von Mises takes the view that it is in having “bank notes without gold backing or current accounts which are not entirely backed by gold reserves, the banks are in a position to expand credit considerably”. Nevertheless, whether you believe the genesis of the credit expansion is Federal Reserve interest rate policy, animal spirits, fiat currency or fractional-reserve banking, what should be clear is that it is the lower rate of interest that creates the credit growth. The question is whether this lowering of rates is beneficial over the long-term. Von Mises argues it is not.
Tag: business cycle
My view as developed in that post is that debt is central to understanding economic systems, and not just because it has a redistributive element in apportioning losses between creditors and debtors when recession forces credit writedowns. More importantly, debt accumulation adds to an economy’s ability to sutain economic growth (and malinvestment) by adding to aggregate demand. The video in this post gets to why this. matters
This is an argument in favor of not avoiding recession but of avoiding depression.
John Hussman’s latest weekly newsletter talks a lot about the anger that Americans feel at being told the recession ended in June 2009 when the economy is still losing jobs. He makes some very good points. See this Economix piece which echoes some of these. I put it this way last week: Here’s the problem: the term ‘recession’ is meaningless […]
by Comstock Partners For some strange reason a number of economists and strategists seen on TV and quoted in the press maintain that the exceedingly weak recovery we are now undergoing is really a "normal" or "average" recovery. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not our opinion, but is based on fact. We have taken eight major […]
The main street reaction to the NBER’s determination of a recovery starting in June 2009 has been – as expected – angry. Here are a few sample comments to my post on the recession’s end: Obviously we need to redefine "recession." Most people would either laugh or become enraged at the idea that the recession ended in 2009. The only […]
by the Consumer Metrics Institute We founded the Consumer Metrics Institute precisely because we felt that the economic bureaucrats in Washington were out of touch with the economy that most of us live in. They remind us of those patients sitting in wheelchairs in the "memory impaired" wards at nursing homes: with crystal clear recall of 1937 but no clue […]
The NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee has determined that the recession which began in December 2007 ended in June 2009. In the report announcing this decision, the NBER wrote that economic activity is typically lower post-recession than it was pre-recession, meaning that the initial stages of a technical recovery will not seem like a recovery. There is much more. So […]
In this piece on GDP and recessions, John Lounsbury expands on an earlier article about how this particular recession is different. Catch more of John and other top-notch econ writers at Global Economic Intersection, John’s new website on economics. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the most widely followed metrics when people try to assess economic health. There are […]
Below is a very good and nearly unfiltered 30-minute session with David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff. He speaks with the Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Evans in the weekly "Big Interview" feature, a format I really like. I have featured Stephen Roach and Sheila Bair at CW from previous big interviews. Rosenberg has been one of the more prescient economists regarding […]
In a post via John Mauldin, Van Hoisington and Lacy Hunt echo some themes CW presented in January regarding why the NBER has waited to declare an end to recession. See "Is the recession dating committee preparing for a double dip?" and "Re-interpreting recession dating committee’s double-dip language for debt deflation dynamics)." Right now, the economy is merely slowing. There […]
John Hussman is out with his latest weekly and he discusses… the ECRI Leading Indicators of course. Everyone is talking about these numbers. He is bearish, but as I have also noted the ECRI data are not yet predicting recession. However, he does give us four things to look for as the harbingers of recession. Hussman writes: The following is […]