Everyone is convinced the dollar is going to inflate because more dollars are entering the system.
But are they really?
That is the question that sparked a succinct Twitter thread by Travis K (@ColoradoTravis) explaining why inflation is not what happens next (emphasis ours):
Let’s take a look at how dollars are born and how they die.
A dollar is ‘born’ when a loan is made against collateral on a bank’s balance sheet. Banks can issue multiples of dollars for every dollar of collateral they have.
It’s this multiplication effect that expands the amount of total dollars.
Generally, banks are limited in how much they can lend – let’s say it’s 10x their collateral. So for every dollar of collateral they have, they can lend 10 dollars.
By so lending, they ‘birth’ new dollars into the system.
As banks lend more, more dollars are created and the money supply increases. This multiplicative lending is the chief driver of total dollars in the system.
Banks lending a lot → more total dollars and inflation.
When do dollars die?
Dollars ‘die’ when debts are paid back. This reverses the multiplication effect of lending, leading to less total dollars in the system and a contraction of total dollars in circulation.
So what is the Fed ‘printer’ doing – creating dollars, right? Actually no, not really.
The printer only increases the collateral banks have to lend against. It does not directly ‘birth’ dollars, only *potential* dollars.
Banks are still the midwives, and the only ones who birth dollars into the system by lending.
The Fed can increase collateral by 1000x but unless the banks lend against that collateral, dollars will not enter circulation for you and I to interact with.
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