Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Martin Wolf:

Thus the ECB is determined to fund banks freely, at low rates of interest, thereby subsidising them directly and the governments they lend to, indirectly.
Why lending to banks that use the money they borrow to lend to governments is good, while lending to governments directly is bad, is hard to understand. The only obvious difference is that in the case of lending via banks, the intermediaries may themselves go broke. That makes them unavoidably unreliable conduits. Yet if this complex procedure gets round theological objections to direct financing of governments, those who believe some financing of governments is now needed should be content.

Of course there's no good conceptual reason why the banks should be these conduits. I could be the conduit. All of the unemployed people in Spain could be the conduit. If the central bank is handing out massive amounts of free money they could hand it out to anyone.

An immense amount of free money has been given out in this crisis. Most of it has gone to the rich assholes who continue to create the problems.