Quantitative Easing

All the quantitative easing has stopped; in the United Kingdom and in North America the financial institutions have been flooded with cheap printed money in an effort to improve liquidity, stimulate lending and make the economies prosper. the effort has failed, in its stated aims, although the effort has prevented many financial institutions closing their doors and calling in the liquidators, thus protecting the savings of people.

However, and this is a big however, the great inflation that should follow quantitative easing (money printing) has not yet happened. Inflation rates have remained manageable; goods and services have not become drastically more expensive although taxes have increased wage demands have not, on the whole. Inflation would simply in effect tax savings and spread the load of the recession. Of course the poor will bear a relatively heavier burden; an increase in the price of goods that are in the theoretical basket that inflation measures tend to be essentials, rather than luxuries.

Proponents of quantitative easing argue that the policy has been a success and h\s not led to massive inflation, and some are suggesting that the European Central Bank follows where the United States and the United Kingdom led. They suggest that such a policy in Europe will prevent Europe from falling into a serious Japanese style deflation, which will lead to a worsening of economic conditions as people will not buy today what will be cheaper tomorrow.

I doubt if quantitative easing is the silver bullet that can kill the beast of the recession without enabling the beast of inflation to grow rampantly. perhaps its inventor has found the economist’s equivalent of the alchemist’s stone.  Perhaps pigs will sprout wings and fly.

 

5 Responses

  1. If the BOE decrees that a £10 note is worth £100 then those who get to spend it first will be rich. i.e Banks. They can buy real assets before this back-door devaluation catches up with prices. Those who do not have a £10 note will soon suffer as the price of everyday commodities inflates.

    • Those with real hand skills will be able to use them as 10 pound notes, so the golden standard never really went away did it.

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