Negative Rates Nail Savers
September 14, 2016
“You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”
– William Jennings Bryan, July 9, 1896
“You shall not crucify the retiree and saver on a cross of negative rates.”
– John Mauldin, September 14, 2016
As is now the practice on many college campuses, I should preface this week’s newsletter with a trigger warning. What you are about to read could give you serious heartburn, especially if you are an economist or a central banker. Or a retiree or just someone who has lived life playing by the rules, and now you find yourself getting no return on your savings, forcing you to save even more and work even longer. Let me be careful to point out that I am not including all economists in my rather sweeping indictments. But if the shoe fits…
I also know that this special letter is a little longer than the average. But I think the topic requires a whole-cloth approach rather than yet another two- or three-part series.
Before we jump in, I want to note that economic chaos is not my only concern. We face a whole different kind of chaos on the geopolitical front. To a considerable degree it overlaps with the economic problems I’ll discuss today. George Friedman has been calling the Eurasian landmass a “cradle of disorder.” It’s home to 5 billion people, and it’s floundering in a sea of accelerating crises.
Regular readers know that George doesn’t exaggerate. He may be the most fact-driven person I’ve ever worked with. He looks at good evidence and draws...