Tag Archives: Negative rates

The Japanization of the European Union, by Jesús Huerta de Soto

It’s worthwhile reading every single word of this very long article, especially if you have any interest in economics (some people do). From Jesús Huerta de Soto at mises.org:

[Opening lecture at the Twelfth Conference on Austrian Economics organized by the Juan de Mariana Institute and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, May 14–15, 2019.]


The topic of my lecture today is the Japanization of the European Union. I would like to start with an observation Hayek makes in his Pure Theory of Capital. (Incidentally, through Union Editorial, we have just published an impeccable Spanish edition, and I recommend it to all of you.) According to Hayek, the “best test of a good economist” is understanding the principle that “demand for commodities is not demand for labor.” This means that it is an error to think, as many do, that a mere increase in the demand for consumer goods gives rise to an increase in employment. Whoever holds this belief fails to understand the most basic principles of capital theory, which explain why it is not so: growth in the demand for consumer goods is always at the expense of saving and the demand for investment goods, and since most employment lies in the investment stages furthest from consumption, a simple increase in immediate consumption always occurs at the expense of employment devoted to investment and thus net employment.

I would add to this my own test of a good economist: the Professor Huerta de Soto test. According to my criteria, the best test to determine whether we are dealing with a good economist (and I do not mean to detract from Hayek’s test) is whether or not the person understands why it is a grave error to believe the injection and manipulation of money can bring about economic prosperity. In other words, the best test of a good economist according to Professor Huerta de Soto is understanding why the injection and manipulation of money are never the way toward sustainable economic prosperity.

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What the heck is happening in Sweden? Negative rates, cash bans, housing bubble and enormous debt, by Andrew Moran

Sweden may be a preview of monetary coming attractions in the US. From Andrew Moran at economiccollapsenews.com:

We have a message to all of the Bernie Sanders supporters and those who are fixated on Scandinavia: give up your obsession of Sweden. It doesn’t do anything to further your case as there are a lot of downward trends transpiring in the nation of Ingmar Bergman films, Ikea products and meatballs (SEE: ‘Socialist Paradise’ Sweden suffering from swelling debt levels, employee absenteeism).

The main question that must be asked, however, is this: what the heck is happening in Sweden?

Sweden is on the cusp of being the very first nation in the world to conduct an economic experiment of this kind: negative interest rates in a cashless society. That’s right. The central planners are charging you to save your money in a bank, while eliminating the use of cash. You’re stuck if you’re living in the home of beautiful blondes and August Strindberg plays.

Last week, the Swedish central bank (Riksbank) announced that it would leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at -0.35 percent, a rate that has been instituted since the summer. There were talks of Sweden going deep into negative rates, but it instead opted to go for another round of its own version of quantitative easing.

Financial institutions have yet to impose negative rates on Swedish consumers, but many economists do believe the central bank will keep this negative rate policy for a while. This means retail banks will have no other choice but to start implementing negative rates and passing the costs to its customers.

To continue reading: What the heck is happening in Sweden?