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ECB Negative Rate Experiment May Lead to the Worst Financial Crisis in Modern History

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Your proposition that the quantity of money theory is dead seems to be a true earth shattering proposition. It certainly disproves the Austrian School and the events post 2008 support your statement.

The European Central Bank is supposed to traditionally pursue the goal of monetary stability. The Germans have followed the Austrian School of Economics religiously. However, the ECB has used monetary policy instruments attempting to create an annual depreciation of the euro of just under 2 per cent without success. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, the function and importance of the ECB has changed fundamentally and drastically.

In order to avert a core meltdown of the global financial system, the ECB went beyond the American Federal Reserve and other major central banks, launching an extremely expansive monetary policy lowering the key interest rates to negative territory. This has never been done in history and the ECB experiment has created tremendous problems moving forward. Moving the deposit rate for commercial banks parking money at the central bank to the negative range of minus 0.4 per cent combined with began buying up large amounts of government bonds and later corporate bonds of the worst quality, has completely failed to stimulate the economy.

My question is this. Have the measures taken by the ECB resulted not averting a crisis, but transforming it into a far greater risk and simply extended the entire deflationary process?

Thank you

GK

ANSWER: Absolutely. This entire policy has failed to create inflation and has proven that inflation is not driven purely by the quantity of money. Confidence is the critical factor. The rich can move their capital to foreign lands. However, the average person cannot move their labor or money offshore.

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