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Thursday, March 5, 2009

England Swings (For The Fences)

I've got to give it to The Bank Of England. Looking down the barrel of an economy killing deflationary super recession they chose to create eighty-billion pounds on the authority of the government. That's not issue bonds, but essentially print the cash. Of course they don't really make banknotes anymore, but just flash it into existence on the bank's computers.

Printing money in time of crisis has a bad reputation (deserved), but could be a sure cure for what ails us if not overdone. Trillions of dollars in equity have evaporated form the balance sheets of American banks. Tens of trillions of dollars in equity have flown into the aether from the retirement accounts of middle America. Those trillions of dollars gone into the realm invisible represent real money, and the foundation of the economic system. It is impossible to understate the hit we have all taken. Critics of this idea of money creation by fiat will call up visions of third world basket cases that try to print their way out of economic disaster. Fair enough, but nobody since the Great Depression has tried it in a first world economy. England will be a great test bed for this obvious fix. It has been said before that Americans will always do the right thing, after trying everything else.

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