In addition to Leonhardt we've got some Krugman, a link to some Larry Summers, a little Bernanke-Summers blow-by-blow... all of which were linked in this morning's opinion newsletter.

There's some nice graphs'n'shit though which sort of give lie to the nice tidy friendly non-threatening title "secular stagnation." it's from the same place that calls "you're getting 70 cents on the dollar on your retirement fund" a "30% haircut." So when you read this shit, keep your eye on the ball:

    There are two main culprits. The first is a savings glut. Americans are saving more and spending less partly because the rich now take home so much of the economy’s income — and the rich don’t spend as large a share of their income as the poor and middle class. The aging of society plays a role too, because people are saving for retirement.

What an extremely sanitary way of pointing out that the 1% has all your money! But wait there's more!

    The second big cause is an investment slump. Despite all the savings available to be invested, companies are holding back. Some have grown so large and monopoly-like that they don’t need to invest in new projects to make profits.

That's Leonhardt for "monopolies are crushing the economy." How 'bout this one? This one's the howler:

    Many young people have decided they’re happy living in small apartments, without cars.

Yep they decided that and now they're happy.

The crazy hermits over at Epsilon Theory are interesting because they're attempting to be investment consultants and they've pretty much decided that the only "alpha" (gains you make that the rest of the market doesn't - in other words, "your job as an investment consultant") left in the market is insider trading therefore it's time to howl from the mountaintops. I follow a few other guys who ostensibly make rich people richer for a living and they've basically thrown in the towel and are talking about how much to save for retirement and how shitty the scientific publishing system is and the like. But anyway one of the things the ET guys do is a zeitgeist check every week because they've basically decided that their quid subscription ought to earn its living so they're real big on the narrative machine.

And I gotta say. This looks a lot like someone trying to move the narrative away from AOC restating Marx or Elizabeth Warren calling for a breakup of Facebook, Amazon and Google.


Very interesting stuff. Tangentially related - I've always wondered how a currency with a half life would work, where the longer you sit on it the less it's worth. Would that be enough to keep currency in circulation, or would it just create an industry of individuals who just launder old money for new?

posted 275 days ago