Is gaining some momentum. Very slowly, the idea of low returns to capital for a loooong time is becoming not just less unthinkable but more inevitable.
Third, we may be headed into a world where capital is abundant and deflationary pressures are substantial. Demand could be in short supply for some time. In no big industrialised country do markets expect real interest rates to be much above zero in 2020 or inflation targets to be achieved. In the future, the priority must be promoting investment, not imposing austerity. The present system places the onus of adjustment on “borrowing” countries. The world now requires a symmetric system, with pressure also placed on “surplus” countries. [More]
I'm still working through what this means for farmers. Could Aaron spend his career believing that borrowing at 4% is to be expected? Will any project that can earn a 5% ROI be worth looking at?
For example, at a negative (or even zero) interest rate, it would pay to level the Rocky Mountains to save even the small amount of fuel expended by trains and cars that currently must climb steep grades. [More]It is looking to me more likely that this is indeed the future. Working through what this means for investing and saving, especially for retirement is not encouraging for many. If the best you can hope for is 3-4% return, the mountain of wealth needed to retire becomes immense.
Which, of course, tends to increase the savings glut, postpone consumption and - yep, you guessed it - reduce interest rates.