Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Printing money is good for you

James Surowiecki in the New Yorker (thanks to Ken Shadlen).

What's wrong with printing your way out of a debt problem? At the moment neither the banks nor consumers can manage without this kind of help, and if fiscal stimulus is impossible, the only alternative is to sit on your hands and hope we can enjoy deflation Japanese-style (ie with social peace and low unemployment - good luck with that).

I'm wondering how the whole liquidationist line plays politically this time around. After all, people with capital clearly prefer sound money, but a big chunk of our economic elite is also heavily leveraged. How does this play out? Is QE the way to keep the financial game going whilst the unemployment price their way into work? After all, if Ben Bernanke is doing it it is probably not going to lead to hyperinflation.