Lyn Alden is a macroeconomist and investment strategist. In this interview, we discuss the fundamentals of the current global economy: the Eurodollar system, central banks, money printing, debt, inflation and deflation.
– – – –
WBD528, “Everything You Know About the Economy is Wrong with Jeff Snider”, was very popular with listeners. It raised the concept of the global economy being controlled by the Eurodollar system, an esoteric and opaque financial market outside of the control of the United States. The issues emanating from this theory are manifold, not least that central banks aren’t in control.
A common request was to have us discuss the issues arising from Jeff Snider’s arguments with Lyn Alden. Lyn has written extensively about these issues: her November 2020 paper “Banks, QE, and Money-Printing” is a peer-leading explanation of QE. It clarified why, up to the end of 2020, QE hadn’t led to the inflation that many commentators had been warning of since 2007.
Jeff and Lyn are aligned on the theory that the Eurodollar system is a critical driver of the global economy, and that the risk of deflation is of concern. The differences in opinion center on the importance of sovereign debt. Jeff thinks we need more debt to unlock liquidity and combat recessionary forces. Lyn’s concern is that unprecedented levels of indebtedness, in the context of recessionary forces, are an existential threat.
Could the Ponzi scheme fall apart? The warning signs are there: the issues in the repo market in 2019; the breaking of the US treasury market in 2020; numerous currency crises around the world, which include developed economies.
If the situation is at risk of collapse, what are the mitigations? There seems to be no official alternative to the central banks’ plan to continue printing money to resolve economic problems. But, as Japan may be finding, that approach may have its natural limits. The risks are apparent, whilst the solutions are limited. Maybe we need to have Jeff and Lyn debate in person.