From Gonzalo Lira:
Suppose that I promised to give you free chocolate for the next three years: How much chocolate would you eat today?
A pound? Half a pound? A few ounces? Or would you not eat any chocolate at all, once I made the announcement? After all, you're going to have free chocolate for the next three years -- seems silly to gorge on chocolate today, when you can have as much as you'd like tomorrow, or next week, or whenever you want over the next three years.
So free chocolate for the next three years? Great! Uh, only not right now, thanks very much... I'm kinda full.
... This is the problem Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve currently have -- and it's their own stupid fault.
They have promised to maintain interest rates at effectively 0% until at least the end of 2014 -- they have in fact announced this zero interest-rate policy (ZIRP) as the hallmark of their strategy to reignite the economy -- but then they're surprised when businesses aren't borrowing more. They're surprised when lending is in fact contracting. They're surprised when the American economy doesn't start borrowing -- and thus growing -- like crazy.
So the American economy obviously doesn't benefit from ZIRP. In fact, it stagnates because of ZIRP.
Leaving aside the deplorable notion that debt-fueled consumption is "growth," businesses are not going to borrow to expand during the announced period of ZIRP, because...
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More government stupidity:
Why the Fed's dollar-crushing policies are completely insane
These facts show the U.S. gov't is actively making unemployment worse
If the U.S. and Europe would follow their own simple rules, our economies could BOOM