Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where Hunter Lewis Went Wrong

The other day I looked at this excerpt from the Hunter Lewis book:

If printing "a bit more money" will "cure" a "massive economic slump," then only the tiniest amount of newly printed money should be needed to keep a boom going. But this has not proved to be the case. In fact, larger and larger amounts of new money are needed to keep a bubble from popping. Eventually all the debt associated with the new money becomes too great a burden for the economy and everything collapses.

I agreed with Lewis, with the last sentence there, about debt. And I pointed out that "all that new money has also increased the general level of prices," which I suspect is also important to Hunter Lewis.

But I overlooked something in the excerpt: If "printing" money (as Hunter puts it) is what they're doing, then where does all the "debt" come from?

Hunter Lewis confuses the money created by government (which is always said to be created by printing) with money created by private banks, which is always created by making more debt.

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