You got it. That's why some previous posters are not buying into the article as much as they should. There is no question that the government bond bubble (along with mortgage bonds) is going to collapse. The problem with zero rates is that they hollow out the economy and push money into speculative carry trade or commodities. The carry trade and commodity bubbles expand and contract with psychological factors and reaction from the Fed. When the final contraction comes, the Fed will be boxed in.
We have yet to see any real deflation or corresponding "money printing" for stimulating demand. All contraction so far has been in assets and money printing up to now is to buy bonds. The money printing buys government bonds and the politicians spend money to stimulate demand indirectly. But the politicians can also transfer money directly to people to buy votes. We have probably passed the point where we can fundamentally cut back the payments by greatly expanding the economy. But there will be minor expansions while politicians kick the can on reform.
I really don’t think anyone is smart enough to know when the collapse will come. But, yes, the farce will keep going for quite some time because ALL the Central Banks are playing the same game. The Powers-That-Wannabe all have the same fundamental goal: stave off social upheaval.
For the West (including Japan): Too much debt, too many promises, and too high a standard of living. Aside from Germany and Japan, there is not enough industry to provide a living for everyone. So the Government has a bigger and bigger role in employment and entitlements keep the rest of the population fed & docile. They play along because if there will be massive social upheaval if Government spending is actually cut to sustainable levels.
For the East (particularly China): They need to grow, so they need to export. They play along because the alternative is massive unemployment and, likewise, social upheaval. Also, even while its Monopoly $$, it helps them catch up with the West from a military/technological standpoint.
For the Oil Producers: They are in the same boat. The minute the petrol dollars stop, they will have to contend with their own restive poulations
The fundamental problem is that the Human race now produces enough to survive without everyone taking part in the workforce. While this is good in many ways, it also renders a lot of people .redundant. At the same time, we are also busy offshoring jobs so the necessities of life can be produced even more cheaply. All countries are trying to export excess goods to each other now in a race to the bottom. Improvements in technology and foreign education/work ethic have made this possible. As value-added jobs, Government has picked up the slack by employing more people and handing out ever increasing transfer payments to poor people. After all, we Westerners demand high living standards and we dont let people starve. While our credit was good, this created an illusion of normalcy (prosperity) for a long time, but illusions have limits. People are slowly waking up to the fact that Government can’t deliver all it promised. And, at this point, all but the stupidest politians will admit to themselves that its not working. Deficit spending is giving us increasingly diminishing returns, buying less & less stability today at the expense of anarchy tomorrow.
But they feel they have no choice. So, they all play along and accept increasing worthless currency to keep the Status Quo going—because no one can fathom what will happen when the music stops. Certainly riots—cities will burn and people will die. Perhaps even the start of a new Dark Age. So, we have condemned ourselves to a Zombie economy as long as our leaders will go to extraordinary lengths to maintain the facade.