Outstanding credit to the private sector in the euro area has been shrinking for a long time. It is shrinking fast in several peripheral countries and the European Central Bank (ECB) seems unable or unwilling to do anything about it. Given that the economy of the euro area is barely crawling out of recession and that inflation is predicted to be significantly below the central bank's target rate for the next two years at least, this seems troublesome. Two economists of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) help out
Fabian Lindner of the German macro-economic research institute IMK has submitted a very timely and well-argued piece to the World Economic Reviw: “Does Saving Increase the Supply of Credit? A Critique of Loanable Funds Theory”. He takes on influential theses of luminaries from Larry Summers, over Ben Bernanke to Hans-Werner Sinn by tracing them back to the loanable-funds-fallacy - a fallacy which still rules standard textbooks. His main proposition is simple and not refutable: firms and economies do not operate at full capacity. All research and surveys show that
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