“Helicopter money: if not now, when?”

Gestern habe ich mich mit der Kritik von Richard Koo am Helikopter-Geld beschäftigt. Heute der Hinweis der FT: Egal, welche Risiken es gibt, her damit! Die Argumentation:

  • “(…) there is a strong case for further monetary stimulus across all the world’s large economies. As we put it, heed the yaysayers, not the naysayers.”
  • “(…) the best way to establish this is to consider what all agree is the monetary policy of last resort ‚helicopter drops‘, or gifts of newly minted money from the central bank to the public or the private sector. If even that wouldn’t have an effect, there is little hope for more moderate policies.” bto: Das stimmt natürlich. Wenn Helikopter-Geld nicht wirkt, ist die Politik am Ende.
  • The Bank of Japan is widely seen as the most likely candidate to try helicopter money, (…). This is for a combination of reasons. The BoJ has long been a pioneer of new monetary policies. Japan’s government has the largest gross debt and fiscal deficit in the rich world, which casts doubt on its willingness to use fiscal policy and perhaps the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus if consumers curtail spending in response to worries about the public finances.” – bto: Was wieder zeigt, dass es letztlich doch um die Entwertung von Schulden geht. 
  • A recent case in point is a puzzling analysis by Richard Koo, Nomura’s chief economist puzzling because it simultaneously says gifts of newly minted money won’t increase spending and that they would make the yen lose value. But of course the latter is the same as yen inflation which it is generally thought would boost spending.” bto: Richtig ist, dass es darum geht, das nominale BIP relativ zu den Schulden zu steigern, egal wie. 
  • “It would come with an attendant reduction in the real value of Japan’s debt overhang, which Koo himself incisevly argues mires the economy in a balance-sheet recession.” bto: bingo.
  • “Krugman succinctly makes the now conventional argument why giving new hundred-dollar notes away (to the government or to the people) will not increase demand, or at least no more than quantitative easing. Both, he says, depend on the government actually providing additional fiscal stimulus and, if it does, then the type of financing is irrelevant. The world, economically speaking, is the same whether or not the central bank buys bonds with new money or simply gives new money away.” bto: Technisch ist das richtig.
  • ‚Helicopter money is partly useful precisely because it addresses the institutional failure of fiscal policy in other words, since governments are so unwilling to borrow and spend despite record low interest rates, forcing money into people’s hands is a way to circumvent fiscal policymakers’ recalcitrance.” bto: Also, weil die Staaten hoch verschuldet sind, können oder wollen sie keine weiteren Schulden aufnehmen. Deshalb ist es ein Trick, zusätzliche Nachfrage zu schaffen, ohne die Staaten zu verschulden. 
  • According to Deutsche Bank researchers, all the major jurisdictions allow central banks to give money to the private sector but most prohibit direct transfers to the public sector.” bto: praktisch.
  • “In QE or other asset purchases, the central bank issues new money and buys securities typically government bonds with it. In other words, it swaps securities with cash in the private sector’s wealth holdings while leaving the size of those holdings the same. All that changes is that the income stream from the purchased bonds now returns to the government instead of accruing to private holders (…).” bto: Das hat Steve Keen sehr schön gezeigt und ist auf bto nachzulesen.
  • With helicopter drops, there is no such swap. The newly minted cash is added to the private sector’s wealth holdings. From the point of view of private individuals, their net wealth has increased (…). That should boost nominal demand even if the government, whose financial situation remains unaffected, does nothing.” bto: Und sei es nur, weil die Menschen aus dem Geld flüchten.
  • “The accounting counterpart to the private sector’s increase in net wealth will be a fall in the net equity of the central bank a transfer, as it were, of some of the profitmaking opportunity from being an issuer of legal tender. So one could see helicopter drops as shifting net wealth from an institution that does not engage in spending to the private sector, which does. Far from being essentially a fiscal operation as some would have it, this seems like the purest form of monetary policy possible.” bto: Also noch einmal deutlich, die Notenbank schenkt den Bürgern den Nettogegenwartswert der zukünftigen Geldschöpfungsgewinne. Diese entgehen dann später dem Staat.

If not now in a situation with persistent deflationary pressures, inadequate demand leaving resources idle, and large nominal debt overhangs then when? The worst-case scenario is that helicopter money only boosts inflation and not real spending.” bto: Also kein Worst Case, denn Hauptsache die Inflation steigt!

→ FT (Anmeldung erforderlich): “Helicopter money: if not now, when?”, 2. August 2016