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The recent run-ups in oil and other commodity prices and their implications for inflation and monetary policy have grabbed the attention of many commentators in the media. Clearly,
The historical growth of federal expenditures on health care is unsustainable. Over the last 20 years, Medicare and Medicaid expenditures grew at an 8.4% continuously compounded annual rate (data source: CBO). That?s 3.75% faster per year than GDP grew, and for that difference in growth rates, federal health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP would double every 18.5 years. If those historical growth rates were to continue, federal health expenditures would rise from their current 5.4% of GDP to 10% of GDP by 2027 and 20% of GDP by 2045. Something has to give.
Won?t that (the end of QE1) put upward pressure on interest rates?
?I think it will. I mean, the mortgage market would be your
The world economy needs a new global reserve currency to help prevent trade imbalances that are reflected in the national debt of the U.S., said Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
A ?global system? is needed to replace the dollar as a reserve currency and help avoid a weakening of U.S. credit quality, said Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York. The dollar fell to an almost 15-month low against the euro last week, and the U.S. trade deficit widened more than forecast in January to the highest level in seven months.
?By taking off the burden of any single country, we don?t have to have trade deficits,? Stiglitz said in an interview in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. ?Things would be much worse if it were not the case that Europe was having even more
Generally speaking, the Meltzer strategy offers what I perceive to be two critical criteria for a viable exit plan. One is that the winding down of the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and long-term Treasury securities on the Fed's balance sheet should be conducted in a way that avoids market disruption and distortion as much as possible. The second is, of course, that the excess reserves held in the banking system ? the liability side of the Federal Reserve?s balance sheet ? have to be removed or "locked up" as needed to avoid an inflationary expansion of broad money and credit.