The (other) deleveraging: What economists need to know about the modern money creation process
Manmohan Singh, Peter Stella 02 July 2012
The world of credit creation has shifted over recent years. This column argues this shift is more profound than is commonly understood. It describes the private credit creation process, explains how the ‘money multiplier’ depends upon inter-bank trust, and discusses the implications for monetary policy.
One of the financial system’s chief roles is to provide credit for worthy investments. Some very deep changes are happening to this system – changes that surprisingly few people are aware of. This column presents a quick sketch of the modern credit creation and then discusses the deep changes are that are affecting it – what we call the ‘other deleveraging’.
monetary policy, Central Banks, money multiplier, Pledged collateral, re-pledging, private money creation
Central Bank reserve creation in the era of negative money multipliers
Manmohan Singh, Peter Stella 07 May 2012
Are central banks printing vast quantities of money? This column explains how money-multiplier economics (central banks create reserves that allow commercial banks to create money) no longer holds. Today, non-bank financial institutions play a pivotal role in money/liquidity creation, but hold no reserves. Their lending depends on “private reserves”, mainly highly liquid government securities. Creating more ‘public’ reserves by buying such ‘private’ reserves doesn’t trigger money creation – it just substitutes among reserve types. Open-market purchases only create money if they swap a monetary base for assets that are no longer accepted at full value as collateral in the market.
The phenomenal increase in bank reserves that has resulted from central bank responses to the current financial crisis has led to considerable anxiety regarding a potentially explosive and uncontrollable future increase in inflation. Virtually identical concerns within the Federal Reserve in late 1935 motivated large increases in reserve requirements during 1936 and 1937; actions widely regarded as contributing to the sharp 1937-8 recession (see Friedman and Schwartz 1963).
monetary policy, Central Banks, reserves, money multiplier