The government keeps telling us borrowing more, spending more and printing more boosts the economy. They should look at the figures and ask themselves Where has all the stimulus gone? The figures are amazing.
Since 2005 the government has doubled central government borrowing (on its own understated figures ) from £469 billion to £922 billion – an injection of £452 billion.
Since 2004-5 money supply (M4) has surged from £1,212 billion (£1.2tn) to £2,100bn (£2.1 tn) – it has also almost doubled. Notes and coin have gone up from £42 billion to £55 billion.
And what has happened to real output? It is almost the same in Q4 2009 as it was in Q3 2005! No growth at all for 5 years.
So where did all the stimulus go? Much of the public borrowing went on inefficiencies and on imports. Some of the extra money went into price inflation, and some is just circulating less rapidly now, given the poor state of the banks and the new regulatory toughness.
The government needs to go back to the drawing board on whether these sorts of stimuli work. If they had studied Japan over the last twenty years they could have seen for themselves that huge boosts to public spending and public borrowing just put the state more into debt but did not lift the growth rate. It could have saved us a lot of money and false hopes.