New PDF release: Creating New Money

By Joseph Huber

ISBN-10: 1899407294

ISBN-13: 9781899407293

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Governments now provide some guarantees for bank deposits, and central banks, as lenders of last resort, are expected to bail out banks in trouble. But providing such a privileged safety net for banks is controversial within an open market system in which conditions should be equal for all. Bailing out banks in trouble privatises profits while shifting risk, loss and debt on to the taxpayer. Moreover, the underlying problem has not been resolved. 38 The Wider Case for Seigniorage Reform Whether bail-outs on a large scale would work in the event of a severe general banking crisis has never been tested.

They expand credit creation in upswings, and reduce it in downswings. The result is that bank-created money positively contributes to overheating and overcooling business cycles, amplifying their peaks and troughs, causing recurrent over- and undershooting of the optimum quantity of money in circulation, and systematically contributing to instability of prices in general and interest rates in particular. So under the present system, positive feedback – generated by the link between the quantity of money in circulation, the demand for loans by bank customers, and the readiness of the banks to supply them – amplifies the volatility of the economy, increasing the scale and accelerating the pace of the swings between highs and lows, peaks and troughs, of the economic cycle.

There is no reason why this conversion of traditional sight deposits into non-cash legal tender should disrupt banking business. The banks will have a conversion period of probably about five years, depending on how long it takes for the old bankloans to be paid back. If they wanted to, individual banks could be allowed to redeem their liabilities according to timetables individually negotiated with the central bank. One of the questions that comes up in discussion is whether seigniorage reform will be a “big bang” or a process over time.

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Creating New Money by Joseph Huber

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