Politicians can be adept at co-opting attractive sounding terms to their own cause, even when they distort their meaning while doing so. (...)
Is Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Peoples QE’ an example of the same thing? It is certainly true that the way that some macroeconomists, including myself, have used the term is different from Corbyn’s idea. For us Peoples QE is just another term for helicopter money. Helicopter money was a term first used by that well known radical Milton Friedman. It involves the central bank creating money, and distributing it directly to the people by some means. It is a sure fire way  for the central bank to boost demand: what economists sometimes call a money financed fiscal stimulus. (...)
The genesis of Corbyn’s QE seems rather different. Corbyn adviser Richard Murphy had previously suggested what he called a Green Infrastructure QE, which is that a “new [QE] programme should buy the new debt that will be issued in the form of bonds by the Green Investment Bank to fund sustainable energy, local authorities to pay for new houses, NHS trusts to build new hospitals and education authorities to build schools.” (...)
The main difference between helicopter money and Corbyn’s QE therefore seems to be where the money created by the central bank goes: to individuals in the form of a cheque from the central bank, or to financing investment projects. (...)
[However] suppose that a [National Investment Bank] is created, not on the back of QE but using more conventional forms of finance. (If the government wants to encourage it, just directly subsidise that finance with conventional borrowing. Don’t be put off doing so by deficit fetishism.) Suppose we also like the concept of helicopter money - not for now, but for the next time interest rates hit their lower bound and the central bank wants more stimulus. In those circumstances, it might well make sense for helicopter money to be used not only to send cheques to individuals, but also to bring forward investment financed by the NIB, or public sector investment financed directly by the state. If those investment projects could get off the ground quickly, and crucially would not have happened for some time otherwise, then what I have elsewhere described as ‘democratic helicopter money’ would make sense.  This is because investment that also boosts the supply side is likely to be a far more effective form of stimulus than cheques posted to individuals.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:41