Three wise men’s advice: refocus quantitative easing
In the 19th century, Thomas Attwood, a British banker, economist, democrat and Birmingham’s first MP, argued long and hard that government should counter economic depressions by increasing the money supply and direct this money towards ensuring full employment.
The FT reported on the 7th December that the European Central Bank’s governing council, meeting to discuss the next stage of its QE programme, is being advised by Rick Rieder of Black Rock, the world’s largest asset manager, to move the focus of quantitative easing away from buying sovereign bonds and put money more directly into the economy, funding a wave of new infrastructure spending across the continent.
‘Move the focus of quantitative easing . . . ‘
The idea of Green Infrastructure Quantitative Easing (GIQE) was voiced earlier by MP Caroline Lucas. This concept, first proposed by the Green New Deal Group, basically means investment in a positive green and socially just future.
“In August the Bank of England announced a further £60bn of its quantitative easing programme, taking the total of e-printed money to £435bn, the equivalent of nearly £7,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Mark Carney is on record as saying that, if the government requested it, then the next round of QE could be used to buy assets other than government debt . . .
“Instead of using this staggering amount of money to prop up the banks and inflate stock markets, property and other assets, the new £60bn of QE should be used to buy bonds from a national investment bank and from local authorities to generate a “jobs in every constituency” programme.
“This would give all people, not just the left behind, a sense of hope about their economic future and should involve decentralised infrastructure projects centred on a decades-long, multi-skilled programme of energy refits of all the nation’s 30 million dwellings, a shift to localised renewable energy, and a rebuilding of local transport, food and flood defence systems . . . and in doing so really tackle the economic insecurity that is pure oxygen for the extreme right”.