No, Ritchie still not got QE

Or third the government could just sell bonds back into the market, reduce bank liquidity, reduce funds available for investment in the private sector, help precipitate a credit crisis and seek to pull the economy down. That’s the ‘normalisation’ route. Of course it need not do this. As has been shown here, QE has not actually boosted money supply so by itself it has created no economic risk, including of inflation.

His reference is to here. Which shows that QE has not increased M4.

Quite so. But there are two money supplies (at least), base money, M0, and then wide money, M4. The second is the first times the velocity of circulation–roughly and without troubling the referee too much.

V, velocity, fell precipitately in the recession. At some point it will rise again. Thus, we increased M0 in order to stop M4 falling as a result of he ollapse of V. And when V recovers we’ll have to reduce M0 back down again to stop the inflation coming from strongly rising M4.

The annoyance here is that there’s nothing in the slightest either difficult or odd about this explanation. It’s very, very, simple and straight monetary economics. Why is it that the Senior Lecturer at Islington Tech cannot grasp it?

Still, at least he’s offering another hostage to fortune. As and when the Fed and BoE do reverse QE and there isn’t some appalling crash we can all refer back to this, can’t we?

7 thoughts on “No, Ritchie still not got QE”

  1. Tim.

    If you covered this before and I’ve forgotten, apologies, but surely we can’t be saying that that redcued level in velocity that occurred at the time of of the crash is still in place? 9 years on? Intuitively, that doesn’t sound reasonable? What am I missing?

    Surely, velocity must to some extent have recovered, and if it hasn’t, why do we think it is going to happen now?

    If velocity has recovered, doesn’t the theory suggest reversing QE is long overdue? And hence other (material) stuff must also be affecting this, as otherwise that inflation would already now be on steroids?

    Apols if I am being too simplistic?

  2. It hasn’t recovered very much, no. If it had we would be seeing soaring inflation as a result of the expansion of M0. We’re not, therefore…..

  3. Philip Scott Thomas

    Each time this has come I have been unable, try as I might, to get my head round it.

    Can anyone point me toward a “monetary economics for dummies” site? Frankly, I don’t even know what to google for.

  4. Social Justice Warrior

    You’re better off reading the BoE’s description of M4 than Tim’s idiosyncratic version.

    There’s currently no mechanism for velocity of circulation to recover to its pre-crisis level. Banks are not securitizing loans to the same extent, and we don’t want them to.

  5. “It hasn’t recovered very much, no.”


    It’s for the US:

    As Figure 1 below shows, velocity varies widely over time. The velocity of the M1 money supply rose from about 4 in 1960 to 7.5 in 1980, before falling to 6.3 in 1993. Then it rose steeply to 10.6 by 2008, before it plunged sharply to 6 again in 2015. It is still falling today.

  6. @Tim

    “If it had we would be seeing soaring inflation as a result of the expansion of M0. We’re not, therefore…..”

    Quite a bit in asset prices though? The Cantillon Effect?

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