People’s Quantitive Easing 303


The media is astonishing today in its barrage against Jeremy Corbyn. Presenters repeatedly state that to oppose nuclear weapons and foreign wars is “weak”, as though that were undeniable. Spending quantitive easing on public infrastructure is “inflationary” and “irresponsible” – and these are the presenters not the guests. Why simply handing quantitive easing money to the bankers is not inflationary or irresponsible is not explained.

I would claim to have got there on “people’s quantitive easing” before hearing that phrase. 42 months ago I published

It is beyond doubt true that the effect of creation of new money is to reduce the value of currency already in circulation. The effects will show through in inflation and the exchange rate. Of course, those will continue to be affected by other factors as well, which is why there are better and worse times to do it. But in effect Q.E. is still a transfer of wealth from those who hold any of the currency to those given the new stuff. In other words, more cash from you to the bankers.

Actually if QE had been used genuinely to stimulate the economy it would have been a marvellous thing. With £350 billion we could have built an enormous amount of social housing on brownfield sites, converted derelict high streets into housing, built the Severn barrage and a high speed rail link from London to Aberdeen and still have had change. We could have reopened the steel industry to do it. a thousand manufacturing firms could have been re-tooled. Millions could have been employed. The entire logic of economic depression could have been turned around.

Instead we gave more cash to the bankers.

Progressive opinion catches up with me eventually. In another decade or more likely two, mainstream journalists might catch up as well.


303 thoughts on “People’s Quantitive Easing

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  • Anon1

    He’s not opposing nuclear weapons though is he? He is advocating unilateral disarmament while our friends at Novorossia Today can’t hide their excitement over his leadership win.

  • Anon1

    “Actually if QE had been used genuinely to stimulate the economy it would have been a marvellous thing. With £350 billion we could have built an enormous amount of social housing on brownfield sites, converted derelict high streets into housing, built the Severn barrage and a high speed rail link from London to Aberdeen and still have had change. We could have reopened the steel industry to do it. a thousand manufacturing firms could have been re-tooled. Millions could have been employed. The entire logic of economic depression could have been turned around.”

    Craig, I think you should be Shadow Chancellor under Corbyn. I mean that.

  • Resident Dissident

    The actual proposal (from Richard Murphy) is that the money be given to a National Investment Bank to invest – despite asking several times how a NIB would work and decide where the money should be invested I have yet to receive any response. The Bennite record of allocating investment to British Leyland and Concorde is hardly a glorious success – so I think the onus is on the Corbynites to answer the question.

    Instead I suspect just more abuse (just witness the threads since yesterday if you need plentiful evidence) despite Corbyn saying they don’t do abuse.

  • Resident Dissident

    Why reopen the steel industry unless you can be satisfied that it will be competitive with others elsewhere in the world with lower costs – or doesn’t the theory of comparative advantage apply in la la economics land. The market doesn’t provide all the answers when it comes to investment decisions – but if people are being honest rather than just pushing personal projects (or what sounds like a good idea from their mates) it is necessary to spell out how the alternative works.

  • Resident Dissident

    “a thousand manufacturing firms could have been re-tooled.”

    Who decides which manufacturing firms should be re-tooled and how?

    Sounds like another Delorean waiting to happen to me – or perhaps former diplomats are also trained in economics and investment appraisal. My not limited contact with the FCO and embassies suggests that this is very unlikely to be the case.

  • Anon1

    “Who the hell wants a high speed rail link from London to Aberdeen?”

    Someone who has spent almost their entire working life in state employ and doesn’t as yet understand that the little people must cough up for his grand ideas?

  • Anon1

    “Someone who has spent almost their entire working life in state employ and doesn’t as yet understand that the little people must cough up for his grand ideas?”

    I should add that that is the current working definition of a ‘progressive’.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Who the hell wants a high speed rail link from London to Aberdeen?”

    The runway at Dyce couldn’t be extended to fit in a new version of Concorde!

  • Anon1

    How about a side-branch to Inverness. Another £15bn? What the heck. We’ll just take it from the banksters and the rich. #Corbynomics.

  • nevermind

    Oh dear RD demands…,he has not been informed of Corbyns plans… pathetic.

    All the way he said that his decisions will reflect a majority of voters, not a majority of BBC/MI6 commentators and not the self serving expertise of past scroungers hanging on for dear life to keep in power.

    As for a high speed line to Aberdeen, I’m sure that such an expensive undertaking will have some problems of funding in an Independent Scotland, the topography might put a stop to it in Edinburgh/Glasgow.

  • Pan

    “Who the hell wants a high speed rail link from London to Aberdeen?”

    Cui bono? That’s always the question that provides the answer.

  • Anon1

    A concorde link from Holyrood to Westminster. With HS94 and HS97 shuttle services reducing journey times to and fro Scotch constituencies. Why the devil not?

  • fedup

    There is an air of desperation in air! Seventy eight percent of the comments so far are form the usual suspects sucking up to the status quo! The oligarch owned media is now searching for dirt in Nicaragua, and blaming the low garment industry wages on Corbyn and all the while the inflation is back on the horizon, when the banksters are getting money it is not inflationary, but when it is to be spent on we the people and services thereof, it is the inflationary pressures henny penny skies are falling times.

    It is comical to see the venal bastards in disarray, and panic throwing everything they can at Corbyn. The chancellor so far has been advised by a crack smoking economist talking mostly out of his butt; taking into account the prostitution and drugs trade as part of the GDP in a bid to help to interpret economic growth and prosperity! Effectively covering up the huge shrinkage ie destruction of the standard economy of we the people.

    BTW at long last someone has had the balls to call a spade a shovel; Austrian chancellor compares Hungary’s treatment of migrants to the Jews under the Nazis

    “Refugees put on trains in the belief they are going somewhere else entirely brings back memories of the darkest period of our continent,”

  • Peter Whipp

    By the process known as QE, the government borrows money from banks to buy stocks and shares in the open market. The result is that the banks gain credit balances with the government’s Central Bank and the sellers of the stocks and shares gain credit balances with the banks that these “investors” can then use to buy more stocks and shares. Some of this money might trickle down as workers’ wages if it is spent in the real economy. An obvious example is as stockbrokers’ fees on the new purchases. Needless to say, it is the investment banking arms of the commercial banks that advocated this scam.

    The proposed People’s QE is a process by which the government borrows from banks and spends this money in the real economy. Almost all of this money will pass to workers as wages. That will undoubtedly boost wages and, therefore, the real economy. Of course, bankers don’t approve of this.

    The question that I ask is why do the government borrow from anybody, least of all from banks. Our government has the right to create money as it used to through the prosperous 60’s and 70’s. It doesn’t need to be paper money but can equally be digital money along the lines of the National Giro Bank. Alas, bankers and the Thatcher government killed that institution off.

  • Pan

    Resident ‘Dissident’ – “perhaps former diplomats are also trained in economics”

    God forbid. The fewer soothsayers the better, I say.

  • fedup

    We’ll just take it from the banksters and the rich.

    When the sick, and the unemployed are getting sanctioned, this vile racist specimen is asking for more, but when there is a danger of taxation of the oligarchs with as sense entitlement to free money and tax evasive methods of accounting . This vile specimen jumps in to abhor any such development.

  • Pan

    RD – “Who decides which manufacturing firms should be re-tooled and how?”

    Who? – How about a peoples’ commission?

    How? – Melt down all that military hardware we don’t need, and turn them into useful raw materials again.

  • nevermind

    EDF and their forever spreading time frame/price for their nuclear danger plants are not a good investment for Britain, especially not when the sea level rises and lack of sea protection demand that we build tidal energy barriers across the Wash and Severn.

    A Wash barrier, as advocated by the
    http://www.washbarrier.org/index.html
    would not only create as much energy as two nuclear power stations, costing no more than 4 billion, it would safeguard the Fens hinterland, growing 1/5th. of our national fresh food supplies which are currently not considered at all by the main political parties, the realm is sinking whilst, whilst we are saving it in Afghanistan and Syria.

    If Corbyns proposes to marry sea protection and energy generation, concurring with an energy saving campaign in each and every household, relaxes the building and heritage guidelines to be able to energy save older properties,
    Britain could generate all of its energy needs, become less dependent on fossil fuels, Russian gas and or Franco/Chinese dangerous nuclear plants.

    Re nationalisation should only compensate private companies for the investment they have made, their possible future profits don’t count.
    Public transport should be the first to reflect lower oil/energy prices as to encourage its use, current record car sales reflect a move away from far too expensive rip off operators, hallo FIRST.

    If the building regulations are relaxed we will see more people building their own houses, we do not need an overheating housing market regulated by the drip drip release of private land and that in land banks of big builders, its currently a thumb screw on public needs, which are kept at a high to justify the massive profit’s these multinational builders demand from projects.

  • Kempe

    ” It is deeply unfashionable to hold to the view that simply to create more money reduces the value of the money already in circulation in relation to the supply of available goods; but that is what all history tells us (the benchmark example being the rampant inflation after Spanish opening up of the New World greatly increased the amount of gold coinage in circulation). Common sense tells us that too. Otherwise we could simply solve many of our problems by printing another couple of trillion pounds. ”

    Craig Murray on quantitive easing, February 2013

  • Pan

    Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result each time.

    Perhaps Corbyn is the first British politician to actually understand what that means.

  • Pan

    CM –

    “Presenters repeatedly state that to oppose nuclear weapons and foreign wars is “weak””

    To oppose nuclear weapons and foreign wars requires two things:

    1. A backbone

    2. A conscience.

  • craig Post author

    Kempe

    The paragraph you quote from 2013 in the vague hope it contradicts what I just posted, actually says precisely the same thing as the first paragraph of the 2012 quote in this article.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    @ Resident Dissident

    How would you stimulate the economy through quantitative easing?

  • Pan

    CM – “Why simply handing quantitive easing money to the bankers is not inflationary or irresponsible is not explained.”

    The reason it is not explained is the same reason critical thinking is not taught in state schools.

  • Iain

    Honestly, Craig, can you not learn your script! QE to benefit bankers = good, QE to benefit the rest of us = bad. No wonder you did not fit in to the diplomatic service.

  • fred

    “The proposed People’s QE is a process by which the government borrows from banks and spends this money in the real economy. Almost all of this money will pass to workers as wages. That will undoubtedly boost wages and, therefore, the real economy. Of course, bankers don’t approve of this.”

    That would cause inflation.

    How quantitative easing works is that the government prints money and spends it on something with value, at a later date the thing of value can be sold and the money un-printed thus balancing the books. If the government spends the money on things like wages and it goes into circulation then it will just lower the value of the money already in circulation and the worker’s wages will be worth less.

    Peoples’ quantitative easing would work by printing money and spending it on things which would increase the value of the country’s assets, which doesn’t cause inflation. Printing money and spending it on the every day running of the country does. It’s the difference between someone borrowing money to buy a house and someone borrowing money to go on holiday.

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