30 December 2011

So trembled the Austrians

"In 2009, the Riksbank -- Sweden’s central bank -- was the first bank to experiment with a negative interest rate. And it had assets on its balance sheet equal to a stunning 25 percent of GDP, a sign of how much cash it was injecting into the economy, compared with just 15 percent for the Federal Reserve. The bold moves worked: Sweden has been growing at a decent clip."

But of course, Sweden is just a bunch of "socialists"*! We certainly shouldn't be doing what they're doing! Much less encouraging a vigorous, but less interventionist, monetary policy choice that actually discourages banks from hording money instead of the policy choices we currently have that encourages big banks and big banks to horde at that.

*Sweden is not just a bunch of "socialists". The existence in Sweden or Norway or Denmark or Finland or the Netherlands of generous welfare states and relatively high tax burdens is balanced by access to better quality school systems, often competitive schools, very high GDP per capita rates on a rough par with the US if not higher, LESS progressive tax systems, and relatively little business regulation. Particularly concerning small businesses. But nevermind that it is easier to start a business or attain middle class human capital ratios, they're Europeans and Europe is run by socialists. Or something. If that's the price of socialism, I might take that over our own rampant use of corporatism any day of the week. I'd rather have Singapore style market capitalism with less social tinkering (something like the Dutch or Australians) personally, but this would still be an improvement over the current structure.

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