In the April-edition of their monthly report, the Bundesbank has belatedly joined the Bank of England in explicitly stating that the treatment of banks and money creation in most textbooks is wrong: banks are not intermediaries; they create money ex-nihilo. This helps the Bundesbank to reject criticism that central banks are currently “printing” too much money. At the same time, the Bundesbank rejects the proposal of 100%-money, i.e. bank deposits fully backed by central bank money.
At a symposium of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament on “The ECB – Europe’s unelected government” (video from min. 22), I gave a presentation on the nature and motives of central banks in general and the European Central Bank in particular, characterizing it as an integral part of the banking community. Harald Schumann (from min. 47) presented a lot of juicy detail about highly questionable machinations of the ECB during the bank-“rescues” in Greece and Cyprus. The text of my intervention is below.
Randall Wray is probably the best known representative of a branch of economic thinking called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). On Naked Captilism I read his polemic called “Debt-free money and banana republics“. I am more than a bit disappointed. From somebody like Randall Wray, who specializes on debt, I would have expected a more careful treatment of the relation of money and debt, especially if he wants to be vitriolic and call those cranks, who argue for “debt-free money”. Randall does not seem to know, what debt is.
Dear Mr. Haering, I came across your blog post, “The microcredit mafia lowers its socially responsible mask,” and am compelled to respond to your assertions. I believe we share the same concern for client interests. FINCA also values an open discussion on how best to deliver critical financial services to people across the world, wherever they may live.
Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank have received the Nobel Peace Prize on the promise of conquering poverty by giving poor people in poor countries access to debt. A whole industry of lending to the poor has developed from this. It is making its leading figures quite rich and is pushing many customers into misery and debt slavery. A recent tax-filing of the large microcredit-“charity” FINCA and an internal report tell us a lot about this business.
Let’s assume that there is a financial oligarchy which exerts strong political influence due to the vast amounts of money it controls. Let’s further assume that this financial oligarchy has succeeded in having financial markets deregulated and that this has enabled the financial industry to expand their business massively. Then, in some near or far future, their artfully constructed financial edifice breaks down, because it cannot be hidden any more that the accumulated claims cannot be serviced by the real economy.
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