from The City Journal, America’s Lost Decade by John Michaelson:
Over two centuries of American history, prior credit crashes resulted in the destruction of precrash wealth, overturning ruling structures. The process was traumatic for the wealthy, yes, but it was healthy for the nation—democratizing society, spurring innovation, and bringing decades’ worth of increased productivity and job creation. None of this happened after 2008. Instead, ultralow interest rates produced a massive transfer of wealth from individual savers, beneficiaries of retirement funds, providers of annuities, insurance companies, and sponsors of defined-benefit pension plans to very wealthy investors, large corporations, and mega-banks. We’ve redirected money, in other words, from those likely to pump it back into the economy or start new businesses to those who have so much that they tend to sit on most of it or use it to buy speculative assets.
The extraordinary postcrash prosperity of the precrash superrich is altogether new in our history. Near-zero interest rates are a godsend to the wealthy, inflating their real estate, stock portfolios, bond portfolios, private equity holdings, and art collections. Middle-class and blue-collar Americans, meanwhile, haven’t made much progress, and many are worse off. Inequality has increased.