After 2008, the Bank of England refused to print money for government spending. With the coronavirus crisis biting, it’s time to think again

Neither crushing austerity nor an uncontrolled bounty of spending are necessary. At this time in particular, some carefully cultivated money trees would provide urgent shelter, argues Vince Cable

Wednesday 13 May 2020 15:39
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In the coalition years, Cable asked Mervyn King why the bank could not help more directly
In the coalition years, Cable asked Mervyn King why the bank could not help more directly
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s debate gathers momentum on how we are to meet the economic costs of the pandemic, it is possible to discern two sets of arguments around which the debate will settle.

There are those who see a grim future of spiralling public (alongside household and corporate) debt, and anticipate another decade or more of austerity, in the form of tax hikes and spending restrictions. There are others of a more optimistic bent who spot the opportunities from central banks promising to “do what it takes” in monetary policy, creating a forest of money trees which can be logged to pay for all their pet schemes from a generous, permanent Universal Basic Income to a Green New Deal to colonies on Mars.

Both are wrong.

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