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Ellen Brown getting closer to the MMT persepctive

Ellen Brown is not an economist, just a very smart women.  Her conclusions were derived from keen observance and commons sense.  It is nice to see that see that Ellen has discovered New Monetary Theory.  This is not not surprising really as it ties very nicely with her long term support for local state owned banks.

…The failed QE experiments in Japan and the U.S. suggest, however, that there is a third alternative.  Printing dollars to pay the debt (referred to by Russell as “inflating the debt away”) might actually eliminate the debt without creating inflation.  This is because federal bonds and Federal Reserve Notes are interchangeable forms of liquidity.  Government securities trade around the world just as if they were money.  A $100 bond represents a claim on $100 worth of goods and services, just as a $100 bill does.  The difference, as Thomas Edison said nearly a century ago, is merely that “the bond lets money brokers collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%, whereas the currency pays nobody but those who contribute directly in some useful way. . . . Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people.”

The Fed’s earlier attempts at QE involved swapping $1.25 trillion in mortgaged-backed securities (MBS) for dollars created on a computer screen.  As noted in the NPR segment, many of those securities have come due and have gotten paid off, putting cash in the Fed’s till.  The Fed now proposes to use this money to buy long-term Treasury debt rather than MBS.  That means the Fed will, in effect, be buying the government’s debt with dollars created on a computer screen.  The privately-owned Federal Reserve is not actually an arm of the federal government, but if it were, the government would thus be printing its way out of debt – just as Helicopter Ben proposed in 2002.  Recall that he said, “the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press” – the U.S. government, not the central bank that has done all the QE to date.

Running the government’s printing presses to pay its bills has not seriously been tried since the Civil War, when President Lincoln saved the North from a crippling war debt at usurious interest rates by printing Greenbacks (U.S. Notes).  Other countries, however, have tested and proven this model more recently.  They include Germany, which pulled itself out of a massive financial collapse in the early 1930s by printing a form of currency called “MEFO bills”; and Australia, New Zealand and Canada, all of which successfully funded public works in the first half of the twentieth century simply by advancing the credit of the nation.  China, Malaysia, Guernsey, Jersey, India, Argentina and other countries have also revived their economies at critical times by this means.  The U.S. government could do this too.  It could print dollars (or type them into electronic bank accounts) and spend the money on the sorts of local public projects that would put people back to work and get the economy rolling again.  (link to full article)

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