Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Perniciousness of ZIRP

Suppose that I promised to give you free chocolate for the next three years: How much chocolate would you eat today?

A pound? Half a pound? A few ounces? Or would you not eat any chocolate at all, once I made the announcement? After all, you’re going to have free chocolate for the next three years—seems silly to gorge on chocolate today, when you can have as much as you’d like tomorrow, or next week, or whenever you want over the next three years.

So free chocolate for the next three years? Great! . . . uh, only not right now, thanks very much: I’m kinda full.

But then what if I said to you, “Chocolate is free now—but I’m definitely going to raise the price in the near term. In a month, chocolate might be free—or then again, it might cost $1,000 an ounce. So get some while you can, because tomorrow, you never know!”

Well, obviously, to such an uncertain outlook, you’d go out and buy some chocolate now—because tomorrow, it might well be unaffordable. Read more....

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