Monday, December 12, 2011

FT letter 12 Dec 2011: Debt-free public investment

In the Financial Times today:
A debt-free way of public investment

From Mr Charles Bazlinton.
Sir, Just over a year ago Martin Wolf wrote a column “The Fed is right to turn on the tap ” (Comment, November 9 2010) commenting on the likely effect of “quantitative easing”. He thought it would be “a leaky hose” and “have a modest economic effect” and he has been vindicated in the UK.

Despite the Bank of England having created money and massively bought up government debt with it, the hope that the cash received would somehow translate into new bank lending has not happened. Mr Wolf also stated: “The essence of the contemporary monetary system is creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks’ often foolish lending.”

So when is the penny going to drop with the coalition government so that a public agency is set up to direct newly-created money to productive, non-inflationary purposes? The creation of such money used for new infrastructure in particular could be issued debt-free and interest-free.

Why on the one hand do we ask private banks to provide loan funds, at interest, for public investment, but we do we not ask the government to direct some of the Bank of England’s new money, debt-free, directly into such investment?

Our current system benefits private banks, but burdens us with taxes. Surely we are missing two great opportunities: to make money creation democratically accountable and, when used for public investment, debt-free?
posted by Chares Bazlinton. 

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