The mere mention of the word deflation brings to mind the specter of the Great Depression: falling prices means consumers hold off making purchases, waiting for prices to go lower; demand for goods and services falters, profits disappear, and companies begin massive layoffs; the default rate on loans increases, causing bank failures, and so on, in a lethal economic downturn. The fear of deflation is so great that economists dare not even mention the word; but when Alan Greenspan recently used the phrase "an unwelcome substantial fall in inflation," everyone knew he meant the d word, and it sent shock waves through the economic community.
Yet Farrell explains that much of the economy is already in a deflationary trend at places such as Wal-Mart and on the Internet and shows why falling prices have long been standard practice in the computer industry. He explains why not all deflation is bad and why mild deflation may be the ideal. The government and investors must be aware of this new trend, and Farrell provides solid recommendations for policy reform and capital investment.