Sunday, March 20, 2016

Saving capitalism from Donald Trump and the extreme left

"The imminent triumph of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate in the upcoming US presidential election is really worrying mainstream economists. Adair Turner was head of the UK’s financial regulation authority where he was a great success in stopping UK banks engaging in reckless speculation (joke!). He is a former vice-chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe and lectures at the London School of Economics.


He has now published a book, Between Debt and the Devil, in which he argues that to get the global economy going, central banks and governments must opt for ‘helicopter money’ i.e. central banks should credit every household bank account with several thousand dollars, euros or pounds, so that they can directly spend the cash and restore aggregate demand, boost output and encourage companies to invest for higher growth.
I have discussed before the nature of helicopter money and its likely success in meeting Adair Turner’s aspirations – not much is the short answer. But nevertheless, action is needed by the ruling economic authorities, says Turner, because political extremism, as represented by Trump and other extreme left and right parties in Europe is an “inevitable consequence of a breakdown in capitalism". At a conference on market economies in London, Turner said "I think it's a huge issue for those of us who believe in a free-market economy and that free-market capitalism delivers for everybody. The blunt fact is that it is breaking down." He did not say exactly when it ever worked for the majority."
The "free-market" fundamentalists who create a fertile ground for other fundamentalists.

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