How silly of me not to realise we could simply create £75 billion to sort out our problems. Now we are told we can, maybe we should ask what we should do with the new money?
It seems such a pity just to go on buying government bonds with it. After all, taxpayers have £199 billion of them in the Bank already. They are not a lot of fun, and do not seem to do a lot of good. Once you have got some, having more does not add a lot.
We could, for example, give every man, woman and child in the country £1250 each to spend as they like. They could use it to pay off the credit card debt, or meet the tax bills on their petrol. It would help with the Council Tax and the VAT. As the main problem over the last year has been the drop in consumer spending, this would offer a way of boosting it. Funny how the authorities never want the punters to have any of the new money.
Or we could use the £75 billion to recapitalise the state owned banks. They could write off their losses for that, and have a load of new capital to lend. That too could do a lot to promote recovery.
We could decide to spend it on a big capital programme. It would buy plenty of roads, railway capacity, energy supply and broadband access. We could all be given free shares in the projects and companies established with the money.
Or the government could just use the money to pay its bills direct, instead of going through the mechanics of buying in old government loans, and then issuing new ones to pay for the excess of spending over income.
Come to think of it, why don’t we always pay for public expenditure like that? Why do we go through the painful process of demanding tax revenue from people, when you could just print some more tenners? Is there a snag the MPC haven’t spotted yet? Why pause at £275 billion?
The Bank will have a nice tidy income from the gilts it buys in. The government could simply cancel all the bonds the Bank owns, to get its interest bill down. Come to think of it, why stop at just £275 billion for doing that? The more you buy in and cancel , the less interest you have to pay.That would monetise the lot, and should prevent the deflation the Bank must fear.
Why do so many spoil sports and jeremiahs write in to this site to say this is a bad idea? Does the Bank think there are any limits to electronic money?
We are owed a proper explanation from the Bank of why they think printing money when inflation is already 5.2% is a good idea. Just telling us yet again that inflation will fall and that we are in the midst of the worst crisis ever is not a sufficient argument for actions that savers will fear.
Maybe the Bank does worry that the banking problems remain acute. If so, the right approach is to seek actions to create strong banks out of the weak banks that currently spook the system. We need honest money.
In the UK there is no substitute for sorting out RBS.