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Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 446 446

You should. The Federal Reserve Act specifically mentions loans to individuals. I think it was the Populists who got that put in; William Jennings Bryant wanted a Federal Reserve Bank at every crossroads, lending to ordinary people. That can easily be incorporated into the Federal Reserve's operations.

My proposal: have the Fed fund a basic income at zero cost to taxpayers. The Fed could structure it under Section 13 (13) of the Federal Reserve Act, as loans to individuals with negative interest. Thus, people would be paid to borrow. Give everyone who wants it, a basic income of $20,000 per year.

Indexation of all incomes to price rises eliminates any potential inflation tax. If incomes rise in lockstep with prices, your debit card can keep track of your money in units of purchasing power, which will not decrease.

The point about the Fed's unlimited swap lines is that they worked to keep their targets afloat. Now the Fed should apply that power of creating unlimited liquidity to improve individuals' lives, instead of only helping corporations.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 446 446

Why did the Fed bail out the ECB and Deutsche Bank and other Euro banks when they were in over their heads in the 2008 crash? The Fed opened up unlimited swap lines with those banks and others in Europe. Why? Why not let Germany collapse because of a liquidity crisis?

Why didn't the US let Germany fend for itself after World War II, instead of creating the Marshall Plan (at a time of high inflation in the US)? Why did the US give away 85% of the Marshall Plan funds, instead of requiring repayment?

Why is there no production capacity shortage to keep Greek pensioners at a decent standard of living? The only scarcity is an imposition of liquidity. There is no physical scarcity preventing Greeks from living full, happy lives. There is an artificial scarcity of money.

The ECB should create more money and give it to Greece, as the US gave money to Europe after World War II with the Marshall Plan.

Failing that, the world's most powerful financial institution, the Fed, should open up an unlimited swap line with Greece, buying as many drachmas as the Greeks want to sell.

It is stupid that economics requires people to suffer when there is no physical scarcity.

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 446 446

There is no production capacity shortage forcing scarcity on Greece. There is no physical scarcity. The scarcity is of liquidity, imposed by policy decision. Austerity economics is creating scarcity where none need exist. Austerity in Greece is not a physical necessity but an ideological creation of obsolete, feudal economic theory. Banks should lend freely to Greece as the Fed gave freely to AIG so it could buy T-bills at 3% and keep restructuring or rolling over the 0% loans.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 446 446

The Fed right now has $1.7 trillion in "toxic assets" on its balance sheet. In return, primary dealers got $1.7 trillion in deposit accounts at the Fed. No one else was going to lend to those dealers; they were tapped out, couldn't roll over their funding. But the Fed extended its unlimited safety net to them. Why not give Greece the same courtesy?

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 446 446

Loans create deposits. The banks are insured and hedged anyway. Any loss is tiny because banks regularly book future cash flows today as 'Net Worth', paying themselves handsome bonuses and salaries. Central banks such as the ECB expand their balance sheets at zero cost to taxpayers. When the ECB needed dollars in 2008, the Fed gave them an unlimited swap line. The ECB can easily afford to forgive the Greek debt, with no cost to any taxpayer.

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 0) 446 446

You are mistaken; money is created out of nothing every day in the private sector. Total mortgage debt was $10.6 trillion in the US in 2007; but derivatives based on that debt were $62 trillion. ( Source: The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Mortgage and Credit Markets.) The difference is pure money creation by the private sector.

As for the IMF funding, consider this passage from International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress , page 23:

In 1967, the President's Commission on Budget Concepts recommended that U.S. transfers to the IMF be reflected on the federal budget as an exchange of monetary assets of equivalent value to the United States from the IMF, and therefore that they not be recorded in the federal budget as an outlay.

At the time of the next IMF quota increase, which became effective on October 30, 1970, the new budgetary concepts applicable to U.S. transactions with the IMF were not fully implemented. As a result, the transaction was treated as an exchange of assets rather than as an outlay in the official budget, as recommended by the President's Commission on Budget Concepts. For the next quota increase, which became effective in 1978, the U.S. share was subject to the budgetary treatment recommended by the commission: the quota increase was an exchange of monetary assets involving no budgetary outlay and requiring no appropriation.

Comment: Re:Good for greece (Score 5, Insightful) 446 446

Remember AIG and the $85 billion bailout the Fed gave it? Then remember how the Fed restructured the loan twice more, giving AIG something like $150 billion in total? Remember Neil Barofsky's testimony before Congress, that the US government made $23.7 trillion available to financial institutions during the crisis? Greece is small potatoes compared to the amounts the Fed created to bail out the very banks that are pressuring Greece now. Shameful.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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