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Keep the helicopters on their pads and just spend

I was looking back through snippets I save (like a magpie) today and remembered that I hadn’t written anything in response to this Financial Times article (October 12, 2012) – UK needs to talk about helicopters – which demonstrates that a good argument can be housed in a faulty analytical structure. The reference to helicopters comes from Milton Friedman and is popularly known as “printing money” and dropping it on the populace from high. The practice – is described as the ultimate heresy for central bankers. From an Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) perspective, there is clearly no need for a sovereign government to issue debt to the private sector. Given the political issues relating to debt buildup, it would be preferable if governments moved away from that practice altogether. Whatever accounting arrangements they put in place with the central bank to ensure that its spending desires were reflected in appropriate credits going into the banking system are largely irrelevant. The inflation risk is in the spending not the monetary operations that might accompany it.

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