Tag: banks

Private credit overhangs and the business cycle

Private credit overhangs and the business cycle

Back in 2012, three economists published a paper via the San Francisco Fed that looked at nearly every advanced economy business cycle from 1870 forward with the object of understanding the role of credit in the business cycle. Matthew Klein at the Financial Times alerted me of the paper.Now, what the economists found, not surprisingly, was that “financial-crisis recessions are more costly than normal recessions in terms of lost output; and for both types of recession, more credit-intensive expansions tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries”. I want to discuss this both in terms of endogenous money and in terms of its implications for the present recovery and proposed recovery solutions. What follows is pretty wonky but very important as a thought piece for framing the economic environment.

Is the ECB doing QE?

Is the ECB doing QE?

Last week, the ECB announced that it would begin purchasing securities backed by bank lending to households and firms. Whereas markets and the media have generally greeted this announcement with enthusiasm, this column identifies reasons for caution. Other central banks’ quantitative easing programmes have involved purchasing fixed amounts of securities according to a published schedule. In contrast, the ECB’s new policy is demand-driven, and will only be effective if it breaks the vicious circle of recession and negative credit growth.

On Tim Geithner and my US bailout post-mortem

On Tim Geithner and my US bailout post-mortem

Yesterday, I wrote up a piece at the New York Times’ Room for Debate forum about the legacy that Tim Geithner left behind, given his recent memoir “Stress Test”. The question was : “Did the government miss a historic opportunity to reshape the financial system — or was its moderate approach correct?” I recommend you read the other answers from […]

On Europe’s move toward QE to prevent deflation

There is a battle within the European Central Bank. Some want to take stronger action. Others do not think it is necessary. It is not just a matter of counting up who is on what side of the issue. It is not simply about majority rules. The ECB seeks consensus. As is well appreciated, there are important political and legal obstacles to buying European sovereign bonds.

Ten lessons from Charles Keating on corporatism and control fraud

Ten lessons from Charles Keating on corporatism and control fraud

I knew Charles Keating, the head of Lincoln Savings, in my capacity as a financial regulator and as the subject of his wrath. His fraud schemes and the manner in which they targeted our system’s vulnerabilities in an era before Citizens United made the corruption of politicians by fraudulent CEOs child’s play remain the play book for the world’s most destructive financial frauds. Our failure to learn the ten lessons has caused immense suffering. Keating’s life, and the great harm he caused, will not have been in vain if we step back and use the occasion of his death to reflect on the changes we need to make.

On the persistence of inadequate ideas like the money multiplier

On the persistence of inadequate ideas like the money multiplier

I have been saying for years now that the money multiplier does not adequately explain how money is created in a modern fiat money economy. In particular, the idea that banks are passive intermediaries who simply respond to injections of central bank money by creating more loans is fundamentally wrong. Banks actively determine the amount of “inside money” circulating in the economy. When they create loans or buy securities, inside money increases. When loans are repaid or written off, or securities are sold, inside money reduces. The constraints on bank lending are multiple and complex, and don’t include reserve availability (though the price of reserves is a constraint). The Bank of England’s description of the process is broadly accurate.

How money matters: The Old Lady fails to get an “A”

How money matters: The Old Lady fails to get an “A”

Andrea Terzi Dr. Terzi is a Professor of Economics at Franklin University Switzerland and a Research Associate with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. One thing’s for sure: The financial crisis has dealt a deadly blow to what was until recently considered the state-of-the-art of monetary policy. Just compare the 1992 edition of Modern Money Mechanics, published by the […]

The BoE’s sharp shock to monetary illusions

The BoE’s sharp shock to monetary illusions

I’m doffing my cap to the researchers at Threadneedle Street for a new paper “Money creation in the modern economy,” which gives a truly realistic explanation of how money is created, why this really matters, and why virtually everything that economic textbooks say about money is wrong. The bank is going gangbusters to get its message across, with an introductory paper on what money is, and two short videos on what money is and money creation, both shot in its gold vault. It clearly wants economic textbooks to throw out the neat, plausible but wrong rubbish they currently teach about money, and connect with the real world instead.