This paper is a revised version of comments presented at the October 1999 Federal
Reserve System conference on ” Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Environment.” The
comments focus on a paper by Marvin Goodfriend entitled “Overcoming the Zero Bound on
Interest Rate Policy.” Goodfriend’s paper and these comments ask whether the zero lower
bound on nominal interest rates—the short-term nominal interest rate falling to zero and then getting stuck there for a temporary but perhaps lengthy period (for shorthand reference, a “liquidity trap”)—is a significant problem that requires rethinking the conduct of monetary policy. Both Goodfriend and I believe the liquidity-trap dilemma can be significant, as in Japan in the recent past. These comments assess the analysis that lies behind Goodfriend’s policy recommendations and then conclude with my own views about how macroeconomic policies should deal with a liquidity trap and brief observations about the Japanese economic and financial situation in 1998-99.
[President Trump’s public showmanship on North Korea] is creating a huge buzz where everyone wants to know what’s going on and what comes next...It’s a very dramatic way of conducting foreign policy and national security. But it creates a thin veneer of understanding. It’s mostly about symbolism...[Trump’s focus is] very much getting the public involved and invested in what’s going on. That’s the way you shape the narrative...[South Korea President] Moon is doing something similar. By televising the summit, televising the meetings, he’s creating an intimacy between the viewer and the object.