Menu Close

A monetary sovereign can never run out of money

Steven Hail

“Central banks are protected from insolvency due to their ability to create money” (European Central Bank) [1]

Something to bear in mind next time a politician, in an economy which has no inflation problem and a major under- employment one, tells you they have run out of money, or that austerity is essential, or that you can’t have some- thing for nothing, or that you have to pay your way.

The country can run out of real goods and services. It can run out of people. it can destroy its ecosystem. But if you keep your own currency and your own central bank, you can’t EVER run out of money. Not a theory, a childishly simple fact.

1. Link to the video “The European Central Bank can never run out of money”:

Some (edited) comments attached to the above video link:

So the ECB can create money at will. The ECB can create as much narrow money as it wants. But only banks are allowed to acquire this money since they are the only ones holding central bank accounts. The rest of the society are forced into holding deposits of credit money with the banks because the only money (besides physical cash) that the public can get and hold onto are what the banks create out of nothing. So why not allow the ECB to create credit money which would allow the public to pay off its debts to the banks? The simple reason is that the banks would lose their retail debtors (and therefore their capital).


Editorial comment: The few statements attached to this ECB video link were edited in order to correct the terminology and remove a misleading concept. However the implication is that the ECB could effectively tackle the European economic downturn by introducing new purchasing power via some form of debt Jubilee, along the lines recommended by Prof Steve Keen. Newly created money would be given to the public for paying down their debts to the banks, and the banks would be saved from insolvency by the provision of newly create ECB money. They also would be taken into at least part-public ownership.

Leave a Reply