Tuesday, November 15, 2016

QE means postpone the helicopter until we are pretty drunk

Long and Variable trying to decide when QE becomes helicopter money: One way to implement helicopter money is to have the government finance a tax cut or a government spending increase, with a conventional bond issue, and have the central bank buy the bonds with newly created electronic money.During the post-2008 recession, tax revenues fell, government spending [in the UK, at least on transfer payments] and bond issuance rose, and central banks bought government bonds with electronic money.  A lot of them.This policy was called ‘quantitative easing’, not ‘helicopter money’ because it was the first leg of a two-leg policy, where the second leg would involve reversing the bond purchase down the road after the economy had recovered.  But half way through, the two policies are indistinct.  ‘They’ might be doing helicopter money anyway, even though it’s called ‘quantitative easing’.Are they doing helicopter money anyway?  And if they were, what would we infer from whether we should?
Waiting to get drunk is not a joke, it is a mathematical term, drunkards walk, meaning unexpected, meaning inter phase jitter is minimal meaning Gaussian arrivals.  When bubble up meets bubble down there will be a mark to market, but it takes us a full generation to get good and drunk when the Federal government is involved.

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