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November 26, 2013

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Luke

Are 45-60 year old management also looking for returns on capital in nominal terms at rates that might have been suitable in the 80s but not now?

chris

Good Q. Hurdle rates are high now:
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2012/speech581.pdf
But this could be because of pessimism/risk aversion rather than money illusion.

Ralph Musgrave

To judge from capacity utilisation figures, it looks like employers are quite right not to invest. That is, utilisation of existing investments is at a record low, at least in the US. See:

http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/us-capacity-utilisation-is-historically.html#comment-form

Andrew

Producers captured a small fraction of the social reforms of technical advance. That does not mean that producers made no worthwhile return on investment.

Andrew

Sorry, returns of technical advance.

Interesting research about cohort effects, which perhaps might partly explain some longer term economic cycles as you suggest.

Could some of it be that energy and resources are just starting to cost more these days? Easy to come up with investments when you can run them on cheap gasoline.

FromArseToElbow

The 45-60 cohort is also the last one that foresaw technical progress in terms of Golden Age of SciFi hardware, i.e. jet-packs and HS2, and has been disappointed by the "trivia" of the Internet or the dullness of shipping containers.

The "problem isn't so much that technical progress has slowed, [or] that it never really paid in the first place", but that the unit costs of technology have plummeted at such a rate as to make it difficult to fully reinvest profits since the 90s.

Abundance and a deficiency in aggregate demand are essentially the same thing, but from opposite ends of the telescope.

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