March 31, 2014

Instead of QE, why not an ECB cheque to each European?

Sir, Wolfgang Münchau comes strongly out in favor of a quantitative easing program of well over $1tn… among other “to get banks to sell assets to the ECB, the proceeds of which they would use to lend to companies”, “Central bankers talk far too much and act to little” March 31.

I wonder, with current risk-weighted capital requirements for banks, would that lending to companies really result in a for the real economy efficient way? It would not! For that, better than QEs, is to get rid of those entirely unmerited regulatory distortions against the access to bank credit of “the risky”, medium and small businesses entrepreneurs and start-ups.

And since lately there has been quite some outrage over the unequal distribution of wealth, should we not consider that QE’s, the way they have been designed, are really drivers of inequality? In that case, why not a cheque to every European instead, and then take it from there? Please don’t let anyone fool you, ECB, by buying specific type of assets, is handing out lots of free cash to some few.