[OPE-L] "A world awash in liquidity"

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sun Oct 08 2006 - 09:05:56 EDT

IMF Research director Raghuram G. Rajan had some splendid rhetoric at the
Conference on International Financial Instability: Cross-Border Banking and
National Regulation organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago October
5-6, 2006:

"So for the world as a whole, despite widespread strong productivity growth,
investment has remained relatively weak, while desired savings is strong.
(...) The problem when the world has excess desired savings relative to
investment, and when central banks are accommodative, is that it is awash in
liquidity. (...)  low investment relative to desired savings... has pushed
down interest rates and pushed up asset prices. With plentiful liquidity,
investment managers have reduced the premia for risk as they search for
yield. (...) The search for yield and for illiquidity knows no borders as
oceans of capital spread across the globe, and asset prices across the globe
are being pumped up. As one says in French, "Pourvu que ca dure!" ["As long
as it lasts" - JB]. http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2006/100506.htm

For some IMF data on the fall-off in investment see:

One obvious problem with this analysis is that it does not show the
categories of the assets being invested in and who owns them, or the forms
that savings take - and who owns those. Hence the analysis is largely
useless - although it is certainly true that excess liquidity exists, and
that the average annual fixed investment level in the OECD stays relatively
low (with a modest upturn from 2005). It is precisely the existence of
capital surpluses not invested in production, in the context of stagnating
growth of real wages, that boosts financial speculation.


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