Mark A Sadowski comments:
In November 2012 the CBO estimated that the maximum level employment effect would be a decrease of about 200,000 jobs, 640,000 jobs (80% 0f combined payroll and UI effect of 800,000 jobs lost) and 800,000 jobs for the high income tax increase, payroll tax increase, and sequester respectively: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/11-08-12-FiscalTightening.pdf
In other words, according to these estimates, the sequester should already have decreased employment by over 500,000 jobs relative to baseline, and the tax increases should decrease employment over 400,000 relative to baseline by the next employment report at the latest.
What happened to the liquidity trap?
Read more at Macro and Other Market Musings: Is the Fed's Able to Offset Austerity? Insights from the Employment Report.
In his 2003 paper Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others Lars E.O. Svensson describes his Foolproof Way of escaping from a liquidity trap — experienced by countries such as Japan, and lately the US, when central bank interest rates are close to zero.
The Foolproof Way consequently consists of announcing and implementing three measures: 1) an upward-sloping price-level target path, starting above the current price level by a price gap to undo; 2) a depreciation and a crawling peg of the currency; and 3) an exit strategy in the form of the abandonment of the peg in favor of inflation or price-level targeting when the price-level target path has been reached.
As discussed in the previous subsection, a currency depreciation and a crawling peg is unique in providing the central bank with a concrete action that demonstrates the central bank’s commitment to a higher future price level, establishes credibility for the peg, induces private-sector expectations of a higher future price level, and stimulates the economy by reducing the real interest rate. As argued, via a depreciation and a crawling peg with a rate of appreciation approximately equal to the average foreign interest rate, the central bank can actually implement approximately the optimal way to escape from a liquidity trap and strike the optimal balance between current stimulus of the economy and the future price level. Furthermore, as discussed, the exchange rate is unique in providing a relatively direct measure of the private-sector expectations of the future price level.
In his 2003 paper Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others Lars E.O. Svensson describes the liquidity trap experienced by countries such as Japan and lately the US, when central bank interest rates are close to zero percent.
If the nominal interest rate is initially low, which it is when inflation and expected future inflation are low, the central bank does not have much room to lower the interest rate further. But with deflation and expectations of deflation, even a nominal interest rate of zero percent can result in a substantially positive real interest rate that is higher than the level required to stimulate the economy out of recession and deflation. Nominal interest rates cannot fall below zero, since potential lenders would then hold cash rather than lend at negative interest rates. This is the socalled “zero lower bound for interest rates.”
In particular, conventional monetary policy seems unable to provide sufficient stimulus to the economy and address recession and deflation once the zero lower bound for interest rates has been reached. The problem is that the economy is then satiated with liquidity and the private sector is effectively indifferent between holding zero-interest-rate Treasury bills and money. In this situation, standard open-market operations by the central bank to expand the monetary base by buying Treasury bills lead the private sector to hold fewer Treasury bills and more money – but this has no effect on prices and quantities in the economy. When this “liquidity trap” occurs, expanding liquidity (the monetary base) beyond the satiation point has no effect. If a combination of a liquidity trap and deflation causes the real interest rate to remain too high, the economy may sink further into a prolonged recession and deflation.
By David Merkel:
What’s that I see? We’re at a 50-year low for yields on low investment-grade-rated bonds. Surely the economy should be booming. What, like the Great Depression, we are in a liquidity trap? Seems that way…….
via Yield Is The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels – Seeking Alpha.
About a decade ago….. I estimated the following simple formula for setting the federal funds rate:
Federal funds rate = 8.5 + 1.4 Core inflation – Unemployment
….Eddy Elfenbein has recently replotted this equation. Here it is:
via Greg Mankiw’s Blog: The Liquidity Trap may soon be over.