Debt Deflation Holy Grail

Real Vision Managing Editor Ed Harrison talks to Richard Koo, Chief Economist at Nomura Research Institute. Koo is famous for his work on balance sheet recessions, a rare type of recession where drastic liquidity injections fail to increase the money supply because they remain trapped in the financial system, as there’s no low demand for loans since companies focus on minimizing debt rather than maximizing profits. He and Harrison discuss this framework in detail, and use it to analyze our current economic crisis the world faces. Koo draws a contrast between the traditional balance sheet recession, where a bursting of a debt-financed bubble causes a collapse in asset prices and an emergence of debt overhang, with what he refers to as a “pandemic recession,” where an exogenous collapse of economic activity leads to disappearing income and a tightening of financial conditions. Koo and Harrison also discuss the various toolkits available to central banks and fiscal authorities worldwide, and Koo shares what he thinks what a sound policy response might look like. Filmed on May 7, 2020, over Skype. To view more of Koo’s charts, click here:

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