Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quantitative Easing--Fed to Buy Bonds

The Federal Reserve announced today that it would buy Treasury bonds in the open market to lower long-term interest rates. This is billed as something new when it has already driven short-term rates to nearly zero without solving the problem. Instead of buying already existing bonds, I would suggest it buy new bonds from the Treasury as it greatly increases stimulus spending.
Obama should announce that we are gong to build a new high-speed rail system and/or a new electric grid, financed by a new Treasury loan from the government's own bank, the Federal Reserve. When entrepreneurs are discouraged and won't borrow to put people to work even at nearly zero interest rates, the government should borrow and fill the gap.
Note that if entrepreneurs would borrow from commercial banks, new money would be created. The Treasury borrowing is not different and should not be branded with the epithet, they are just "printing money."

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