Friday, April 7, 2017

Which came first?

"Credit Growth Drives Economic Growth," Richard Duncan writes, "Until It Doesn’t":
The single most important thing to understand about economics in the age of paper money is that credit growth drives economic growth. Before the breakdown of the Bretton Woods international monetary system in 1971, there was a difference between money and credit. There no longer is. Paper dollars and US treasury bonds denominated in paper dollars are just different types of government IOUs. When gold was money, the increase in the Money Supply (M1 and M2) had an extraordinary impact on the economy. Today, what matters is the increase in the total supply of credit.
But I have to ask: Which of these came first?

    A. Taking the dollar off gold allowed a vast increase in credit.

    B. The increase of credit forced the dollar off gold.

It's not chicken-or-the-egg. There is a clear answer.


The Arthurian said...

Expansion of credit has been a continuing process in the years after we went off gold. Why do we imagine it was not a continuing process in the years before we went off gold?

The Arthurian said...

We took the dollar off gold in 1971. We took the silver out of our coinage in 1964. Both events were forced by the expansion of credit.