Monday, September 19, 2011

Monetary Stimulus

Adam Posen, a member of the the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, wants central banks to print more money, a lot more. He suggests that the Bank of England and the British Treasury form a government backed bank to make small-business loans. He does not say specificially how this would be financed.
The Euro Zone is in crisis and needs some new ideas. The Bank of England has a program of purchasing the bonds of weak euro zone economies, but it is expected to stop. The European Central Bank may be forced to adopt the policy I have been advocating, namely to directly make loans to Greece, et. al. The EU countries have abdicated the right to do this, leaving only the European Central Bank.
It is unfortunate that Posen uses the term "print money" since this diverts thinking about the central bank creating money by making loans. If the central bank can create a loan to a bank on its balance sheet in order to buy bonds, it could surely make a direct loan to the Treasury who could use the money to invest in infrastructure and create jobs whose income could increase consumer demand. This is of course the method that should be used to finance Obama's new stimulus instead of more government borrowing and slashing entitlements. (Slashing military budgets is the right idea.)
Source: New York Times, Sept. 17, 2011

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