Douglas Carswell

16 SEP 2016

Can anything convince our central bank to stop printing money?

The Bank of England has come as close at it's going to get to admitting Project Fear was wrong. "Indicators of near-term economic activity have been somewhat stronger than expected," it now says. So why is it still printing more money?

The predictions of post-referendum economic catastrophe have fallen flat. From the markets to employment to exports to construction, every metric has shown growth. Even the fall in the relative value of sterling looks beneficial, as Britain's gaping trade deficit has shrunk.

Which makes the behaviour of the Bank of England perplexing. Its August stimulus package was ostensibly premised on economic contraction. But, with almost two months of data now available rather than one at the time, it's clear that isn't the case.

Yet, instead of changing their policy, the Bank has merely changed its justification. Now the argument is that the good economic data just reflects the impact of the Bank's actions.

When you think about it, that's an unfalsifiable hypothesis. The economy's expanding? Monetary stimulus is sustaining growth. The economy's shrinking? We need monetary stimulus to stop a recession.

It seems like there is no question, in Threadneedle Street, to which expanding the money supply isn't the answer. Even a surge in inflation won't necessarily provoke a rise in interest rates – as Mark Carney has alluded.

In reality, printing money isn't the solution to economic problems, but their cause. Currency debasement and cheap credit have channelled resources into vast unsustainable asset bubbles instead of productive investment.

Constant monetary stimulus will at some point lead to either serious inflation or an almighty correction. The question – as Steve Baker said in his brilliant Commons speech on QE yesterday – is whether people will recognise that the centralised mismanagement of our money is responsible when it happens.

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