By Warren Mosler*
I was asked by a reporter to state how I’d fix the economy in 500 words and replied:
Fixing the Economy
a. No secondary market transactions
b. No proprietary trading
c. No lending vs financial assets
d. No business activities beyond approved lending and providing banking accounts and related services.
e. No contracting in LIBOR, only fed funds.
f. No subsidiaries of any kind.
g. No offshore lending.
h. No contracting in credit default insurance.
5. Federal Reserve- The liability side of banking is not the place for market discipline. The Fed should lend in the fed funds market to all member banks to ensure permanent liquidity. Demanding collateral from banks is disruptive and redundant, as the FDIC already regulates and supervises all bank assets.
6. The Treasury should issue nothing longer than 3 month bills. Longer term securities serve to keep long term rates higher than otherwise.
a. Remove the $250,000 cap on deposit insurance. Liquidity is no longer an issue when fed funds are available from the Fed.
b. Don’t tax the good banks for losses by bad banks. All that does is raise interest rates.
8. The Treasury should directly fund the housing agencies to eliminate hedging needs and directly target mortgage rates at desired levels.
9. Homeowners being foreclosed should have the option to stay in their homes at fair market rents with ownership going to the government at the lower of the mortgage balance or fair market value of the home.
10. Remove the ’self imposed constraints’ that are disruptive to operations and serve no public purpose.
a. Treasury debt ceiling- Congress already voted for the spending and taxes
b. Allow Treasury ‘overdrafts’ at the Fed. This is left over from the gold standard days and is currently inapplicable.
11. Federal taxes function to regulate aggregate demand, not to raise revenue per se, and therefore should be increased only to cool down an overheating economy, and not to ‘pay for’ anything.
*First published on Moslereconomics.com