8 Oct 2017

The ECB has now created over €2 trillion

If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I am a big fan of having an Unconditional Basic income. In my last post, I noted that with Global financial transactions running at a minimum of $11 quadrillion in 2016 (official BIS figures), you could finance a Basic Income at 50% of Median Income for the entire population of the planet with a flat rate financial transaction tax of 0.1%.

But in this post, I would like to point to another simple way of financing Basic Income.

I've just looked at the latest figures provided by the European Central Bank for its Expanded Asset Purchase Program (APP) which has been running since October 2014. This is actually composed of four separate programs:
The history of these purchases is in a CSV file that can be downloaded here. But to make things easy to see, I have imported the info into an excel sheet that can be found as a publicly available Google Sheet here.

Here is a table of the figures.

As you can see, the total has now exceeded €2 trillion. This corresponds to around €6160 for each of the 330 million people living in the Eurozone.  Since March 2015, the ECB has been pumping roughly €64 billion every month into the economy. That money could perfectly well have been given directly to Eurozone citizens. It would have been roughly €193.50 each - €774 for a family of four.

Of course, I imagine that Mario Draghi, the ECB president, will say that his way of using €64 billion a month is better. It certainly has been better for the banks, who have been able to buy up Public Sector debt by using their money creation power, and then hand on the bonds to the ECB. Effectively, some 82.4% of the "money" created by the ECB has been used to buy up Government bonds on the secondary markets.

But really, if the ECB wanted to get the Eurozone economy working, putting the money into peoples pockets would be a much more efficient way to use €2 trillion. It's the idea that has been proposed for some time now by the QE4people movement.

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