Slope of Hope Blog Posts

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Unprintable Money (by Springheel Jack)

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It really is a funny old world that we live in. The British Pound was hammered overnight when some meeting minutes were released showing that two of the seven members of the British MPC voted for more QE than the others. Why this matters nowadays who knows?

The UK is generally seen as a pillar of fiscal rectitude these days as it is taking steps to rein in government spending and to keep public debt at levels where it might credibly be repaid someday. As a result it has taken quite a bit of criticism from the US and much of the EU, where plans for managing government debt at a sustainable level are being disregarded outside the PIIGS.

On the other hand the UK is currently running deficits of 10% of GDP, and has now printed money to buy UK debt of $350bn, something over a third of all UK government debt currently outstanding. In effect most of the huge deficits run in the last three years have been financed by printing money. That it is seen as a pillar of fiscal rectitude nonetheless speaks volumes about the profligacy of the countries to which it is being compared.