Janet Yellen worries about U.S. government debt accumulation, expects new interest rate increases, and warns of the next economic recession.

Amy Hamilton

2018-11-05 10:40:00 Mon ET

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen worries about U.S. government debt accumulation, expects new interest rate increases, and warns of the next economic recession. Yellen points out that the current fiscal debt-and-deficit trajectory is unsustainable in the long run. The famous Sargent-Wallace unpleasant monetarist arithmetic rule suggests that if the government continues to accumulate fiscal deficits, incessant government debt issuance would induce higher inflation in the form of seigniorage taxes. Yellen also suggests that the U.S. Treasury might want to consider raising taxes with lower retirement expenditures. She observes the probable outcome that the current debt-deficit dilemma may exacerbate as more baby-boomers retire with greater retirement and health care needs.

With respect to monetary policy decisions, Yellen advocates gradual interest rate increases for better inflation containment in light of strong wage growth and labor market momentum. The current key interest rate hike helps ensure the sound-and-stable scenario that the U.S. economy cannot overheat due to cyclical tides. As of November 2018, the Federal Reserve has raised the interest rate 3 times year-to-date, and stock analysts and economists expect the FOMC to approve another key interest rate increase in December 2018. Yellen expects the next U.S. economic recession to be far off until late-2020. The next recession should be mild (but not deep and terrible).

 


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