Must-Read: Eric Lonergan: Bond bubbles, MMT, and the Limits to Fiscal Policy

Must-Read: Eric Lonergan: Bond bubbles, MMT, and the Limits to Fiscal Policy: “Most of what [MMTers] say about fiscal policy seems broadly correct…

…The constraints on fiscal policy are determined by two factors: 1) can you print your own money, and 2) is unemployment already so low that fiscal stimulus is inflationary…. One of the things I dislike about the unthinking obsession with “expectations” in today’s monetary policy discourse is the suggestion that “inflation expectations” can suddenly–out of nowhere–go haywire. This a bit like the idea of bond panic. One day–for some unknown reason–the bond market is going to think that the government won’t raise future taxes, and panic…. But if the central bank can do QE, there cannot be sustained bond panic in the absence of a genuine inflation problem. Why? Because, as the BoJ is showing, faced with no inflation risk, the central bank can buy all the bonds.

All that matters then is what causes a sustained rise in inflation. The idea that the population wakes up one day and decides that because the national debt has gone through the Reinhart and Rogoff limit, or because a check from the Fed has arrived in the post, there is going to be a wild outbreak of inflation, is unconvincing…

April 17, 2015

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