Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More Platinomics Nonsense

This time the nonsense comes from The Economist's Free Exchange:
But in 2008, Congress gave the Fed authority to pay interest on reserves.  Because banks should not lend reserves to each other for less than they can get from the Fed, this restores the Fed’s control over interest rates regardless of the size of its balance sheet, and thus over inflation. ... What this means is that while the platinum coin option expands the Fed’s balance sheet and, ultimately, the monetary base, it has no implications for inflation, even if the Treasury never buys back the coin.
Back to the real world: paying interests on reserves didn't save Brazil from hyperinflation, much on the contrary, it was one of the main causes of hyperinflation. It hastens hyperinflation because the supply of high-powered money becomes incredibly endogenous to increases in nominal rates of return. In other words, the monetary and price systems become utterly unstable.

It would be funny, if it weren't tragic, that many economists appear to be unable to get this simple point.

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