One of the great ironies of economics is that, while the public regards economists as experts on money, the issue of how money is created is still not settled within economics.
In 2014, the Bank of England published a landmark paper explicitly rejecting the textbook model of money creation, stating that:
Money creation in practice differs from some popular misconceptions—banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out deposits that savers place with them, and nor do they ‘multiply up’ central bank money to create new loans and deposits…
The reality of how money is created today differs from the description found in some economics textbooks: Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits. In normal times, the central bank does not fix the amount of money in circulation, nor is central bank ‘multiplied up’ into more loans and deposits. (McLeay, Radia, and Thomas 2014, p. 14)
Several other Central Banks published related papers, notably the Bundesbank in 2017, which stated that:
It suffices to look at the creation of (book) money as a set of straightforward accounting entries to grasp that money and credit are created as the result of complex interactions between banks, non- banks and the central bank. And a bank’s ability to grant loans and create money has nothing to do with whether it already has excess reserves or deposits at its disposal (Deutsche Bundesbank 2017, p. 17)
And yet, just five years later, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Bernanke, Diamond and Dybvig for work which, as the “Scientific Background” to the Prize noted, claimed that banks function as “financial intermediaries” which “channel funds from savers to investors, receiving funds from some customers and using the funds to finance others”….
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