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PhD Candidate in Economics at George Mason University. Received a Master's in Public Administration from George Washington University. Majored in economics and finance at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously worked as an Options Market Maker/Trader.
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Bubbles and Busts
  • Forgotten Lessons From Lost Decades In Japan 0 comments
    Jul 12, 2012 11:13 AM

    For nearly two decades Japan has witnessed stagnating growth and mild deflation. Over the course of this period, Japan has experimented with various forms of monetary "stimulus" as well as fiscal stimulus, increasing public sector debt by nearly 400%.
    Source: The New Arthurian

    By many accounts, Japan should be a shining example of functional finance,demonstrating the positive impact of fiscal and monetary stimulus working together. Reality, however, depicts a largely different story.

    The New Arthurian offers four lessons from the struggles in Japan...

    Lesson 1: No recovery was created by increasing the money.
    Lesson 2: No recovery was created by replacing private debt with public.
    Lesson 3: There was little or no "erosion" of debt by inflation.
    Lesson 4: Try debt forgiveness.

    Most economists are currently calling for either greater monetary or fiscal stimulus, or in some cases both. I fear that this apparent focus on broad macro stimulus overlooks some of the subtler inefficiencies within developed economies that played an equal, if not greater, role in the current economic crisis. Tax laws and regulations that encourage the use of credit over money, promote greater inequality and subsidize various industries with political favor will largely remain in place under most of the proposed policy solutions. Until these issues, and numerous others, are dealt with, our fate may follow a similar path as Japan, whereby monetary and fiscal stimulus are only enough to continue muddling through.

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