Business Economics

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 188–202

Ultra-Easy Money: Digging the Hole Deeper?


DOI: 10.1057/s11369-016-0012-2

Cite this article as:
White, W.R. Bus Econ (2016) 51: 188. doi:10.1057/s11369-016-0012-2


The global situation we face today is arguably more fraught with danger than was the case when the crisis first began. By encouraging still more credit and debt expansion, monetary policy has “dug the hole deeper.” The fundamental analytical mistake has been to model the economy as an understandable and controllable machine rather than as a complex, adaptive system. This mistake also implies that the suggestion that central banks should necessarily reduce the “financial rate of interest,” in response to a presumed fall in the “natural rate,” is overly simplistic. In practice, ultra-easy policy has not stimulated aggregate demand to the degree expected but has had other unexpected consequences. Not least, it poses a threat to financial stability and to potential growth going forward. Further, “exit” threatens to be delayed in many countries, underlining the dangerous fact that the global economy has no nominal anchor. Much better would be policies, introduced by other arms of government, that would recognize that the fundamental problem is not inadequate liquidity but excessive debt and possible insolvencies. The policy stakes are now very high.


monetary policy debt financial markets exit strategy 

Copyright information

© National Association for Business Economics 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monetary and Economic DepartmentBaselSwitzerland

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