Thursday, August 7, 2008

Non-existent positive real interest rate spotted!

Dismissing the harm of inflation again, Bryan Caplan confidently announces that it's already priced into interest rates, so it doesn't eat away your savings!

Since most inflation is anticipated, I don't see that it does transfer much; instead, it's built into raises and interest rates.

Oh really now? I'm interested in learning where I can store my money at low risk such that its real after-tax return is positive. Two-year treasuries are yielding 2.45%, much lower than you'd need to beat inflation and taxes. Vanguard's Prime Money Market Fund is yielding 2.19%. (I was going to quote the after-tax return they give, but they seem to have either removed that section, or they never post it for money market funds. My rough calculations show that even if you left your money alone for the last ten years, the nominal ROR at a tax rate of 25% would be ~2.5%.)

Hey, I'm a big saver, but the market -- well, whatever's left of it -- is telling me not to.

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