Daily Archives: June 2, 2015

What Is Helicopter Money, Anyway?

By Scott Fullwiler

Clive Crook has an interesting article in Bloomberg that I wanted to quickly touch on as it relates to a number of things that have been central to MMT for years. Crook’s piece does a good job discussing the current realities of the macroeconomic policy mix in the next recession; it also provides a clear example for illustrating differences between MMT and most other economists with regard to how they view the macroeconomic policy mix.

Crook points out that so-called “unconventional” monetary policy operations aren’t unconventional anymore. We’ve had nearly 7 years of ZIRP and various forms of QE in the US alone, not to mention about 17 years in Japan. According to most, thanks to monetary policy, “The world avoided another Great Depression. Yet even in the U.S., this is a seriously sub-par recovery; growth in Europe and Japan has been worse still.” Worse still, Crook says, “Now imagine a big new financial shock. It’s quite possible that all three economies would fall back into recession. What then?”

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The Volcker Rule Doesn’t Violate NAFTA

This one is for the Finance Minister of Canada, Joe Oliver. He erroneously claims that the Volcker rule, implemented as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, violates The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law on December 8, 1993.

Oliver says that the Volcker Rule prohibits US banks from trading AAA rated Canadian Government debt thereby violating free trade under NAFTA. The US government has denied any such violation.

I think the US Government has the better of this one. And it’s interesting to consider why this is true. Continue reading