Wednesday, October 12, 2011

International Embrace Of My Plan To Give People Free Money

No of course it isn't really my original idea, but it is in the realm of 'sounds crazy' so that serious people aren't quite able to embrace it. But in all seriousness, central bankers should be dropping cash from helicopters.

We need to ensure the extra money leads to higher demand. One good place to start is with the textbook example of printing money to finance consumption - sending every adult in the country a voucher that can be spent in the next three months. Allocating £300 to each of Britain's 50m adults to spend on goods and services would cost £15bn, or 20 per cent of the £75bn created by the new round of QE. (In 1999, the Japanese government distributed $175 vouchers to the public - 99.6 per cent of them were spent within the six-month limit.) Perhaps you can persuade the MPC that this is preferable to buying gilts?

The 'traditional' monetary policy of relying on the banks is going to have at best limited success, given both the zero lower bound on interest rates and the fact that our banking system has turned into the Great Casino. Print money. Give it to people. Our problems are solved!