Friday, March 06, 2009

Torynomics = Fail

The latest news is that the Bank of England has begun quantitative easing and right on time Iain Dale has chipped in with his viewpoint and the favourite Tory comparison to Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe and of course 1920's Germany. He says:

No one has ever shown, to my knowledge, any instance where printing money has led to anything but a worsening economic situation.

So allow me to provide Iain with an instance where it has worked, Japan. From my copy of "Japan's Great Stagnation":

In March 2001, the BOJ (Bank of Japan - Andreas) introduced it's policy of
"quantitative easing" at the same time the Bank lowered it's interst rateto zero
(consisting of bank reserves and current account balances of exempted institutions). At the time the BOJ began targeting the outstanding balance of bank's current accounts (consisting of required and excess reserves ofcommercial banks). The BOJ initially announced a target of around ¥5 trillion with the objective of pushing the overnight call rate to zero. The BOJ also announced that this procedure would continue "until the consumer price index (excluding perishables, on nationwide statistics) registers stably a zeropercent or an increase year on year." The target current account balance (held at the BOJ) was raised three times in 2001, twice in 2002, three times in 2003 ad again in January 2004.
Despite the use of this policy, Japan did not suffer hyperinflation, inflation has remained fairly mild. Recovery properly occured in 2003 and growth when taking into account Japan's shrinking population looked reasonably good. Of course, Japan has it's own problems now, but this is an entirely different story. He then goes on to say:

The way to get confidence back into our economy is not to print money, but to encourage the return of sound money.
To this I'd like to point out Stephanie Flander's post about protectionism and gold, the gold standard, which in a lot of ways can be considered the ultimate "sound money", but is believed to be a major factor in causing the great depression, as Stephanie points out the first countries to recover were those that came off the gold standard, "sound money" has it's own set of problems.

Night all.

1 comment:

crabbydog said...

credit has always been a factor in economic growth, and arguably credit is not sound money.