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The correct formulation is that there is lots of financial assets sloshing around, looking for capital to gainfully employ.

This formulation - quite independent of how you measure the volume and value of real capital - illustrates that the problem is a shortage rather than an excess of capital (including raw materials).

But the problem is not a shortage of capital to gainfully employ.

The problem is the outlandish definition of gainfully. And, if capital is scarce, it must be relative to an overabundance of financial claims.

Paradoxically, because there's an excess of money, not enough money is gainfully employed. Is there some sort of Giffer good effect here?

Because there is more money than hoarders know what to do with, the rate of return they obtain for actual investment is bid down to where they are not actually interested in investing, and the real economy starves for funding while financial assets slosh around charging double-digit returns which may be mythical or, if actually realised, basically just inflate the financial hoard making the problem worse.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 20th, 2011 at 06:16:46 AM EST
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