Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

October 18th 2008

Credit Crisis could Bring Deflation

Policymakers are once again uttering the dreaded D-word. Not "depression," but rather "deflation." Food and energy prices have retreated from record highs, and the economic downturn is threatening to crimp demand further. In addition, the deleveraging brought about by the credit crisis has sent asset prices (real estate, stocks) tumbling, and it’s not clear when they will stabilize. Economists are also forecasting that a tightening labor market and decreasing demand could force workers to accept pay cuts in return for job security. In short, a sustained period of deflation, such as that which plagued Japan in the 1990’s, is becoming a very real possibility. Last week’s coordinated interest rate cut was motivated by financial and economic factors; it was aimed at providing liquidity to financial markets and stimulating aggregate demand. Future rate cuts, however, may be driven by monetary concerns. One thing to keep in mind is that deflation can be kind to currencies; witness the strength of the Japanese Yen despite its long-term economic malaise. If the entire world experiences falling prices simultaneously, however, its not clear how forex markets would respond. Bloomberg News reports:

The deflation scenario might go like this: Banks worldwide, stung by $588 billion in writedowns related to toxic assets — especially mortgage-related securities — will further reduce the flow of credit, strangling growth. As the credit crisis worsens, businesses will find it almost impossible to raise prices.

Read More: Deflation Threat Returns as Asset Markets Decline


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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Economic Indicators, Politics & Policy | No Comments »

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