Hans-Jörg Naumer (Allianz) | The debate on helicopter money, which is once again gaining traction, must be seen against a backdrop of rising public debt ratios and the debate on the policy options remaining for major Central Banks. It is about the monetisation of government debt, i.e. the financing of budget deficits, using monetary policy. It was none other than the retiring President of the ECB himself, Mario Draghi, who once called helicopter money “a very interesting concept” during the press conference following a meeting of the Governing Council in March 2016.
There’s a new monetary theory doing the rounds here which claims to be revolutionary: the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT. Not to be confused with the Market Monetary Theory). I agree with some of its points. But when some of its supporters say the state deficit and debt are not important – that they don’t have damaging consequences – the theory becomes a huge deliberate fallacy.
There is recurrent talk about Helicopter Money, a concept conceived by Friedman to revive the economy. This kind of monetary policy is very often referered to as special, beyond the frontiers of accounting, as if a central bank could actually get into a helicopter every day and drop bills from the sky “ex nihilo,” out of nothing. But as Cullen Roche explains, HM is not special.
Julius Baer Research | After last Thursday’s European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, the US Fed and the BoJ are due to report this week. Will these three heavy-weight central banks do whatever it takes to reflate the global economy? We believe definitely, yes, if reflation does not unfold as desired.
Milton Friedman once wrote (1969) something like a short story about money creation. A helicopter drops banknotes amongst the population: a few lines in an article on how ‘to create’ inflation when the economic policy measures are thought to be exhausted.
UBS | As expected, yesterday’s ECB meeting provided neither new stimulus nor major new guidance on the policy outlook. The discussion was dominated by helicopter money (which according to Mr Draghi has not been discussed), the German criticism of the ECB’s low interest rate policy (which Mr Draghi diplomatically rejected) and the issue of whether or not interest rates could go down further (which could happen, if necessary).
Citi | ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeuré gave an interview to Politico on March 23, published on 30 March and featuring on the ECB’s website. Mr. Coeuré begins by explaining that the package announced on March 10 was “very potent, both in intensity and sheer volume”. On the subject of monetary policy tools at the ECB’s disposal, Mr. Coeuré notes that “negative interest rates are not our main instrument, they just support our overall policy. And looking ahead, we’re not short of instruments – our choice is quite large. We will be able to deal with adverse situations if necessary”.