If Helicopter Money Succeeds, It Will Lead To 1,500% Inflation
After today's uneventful Fed announcement, all eyes turn to the BOJ where many anticipate some form of "helicopter money" is about to be unveiled in Japan by the world's most experimental central bank.
However, as Nomura's Richard Koo warns, central banks may get much more than they bargained for, because helicopter money "probably marks the end of the road for believers in the omnipotence of monetary policy who have continued to press for further accommodation in the midst of a balance sheet recession, when such policies simply cannot work."
As he continues, believers "have doggedly insisted that it is possible to control inflation because (1) inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon and (2) central banks control the supply of money. Based on this belief, they have implemented a variety of policies including quantitative easing, negative interest rates, forward guidance, and inflation targeting, each of which has failed to produce expected results. Now they have reached the end of the line, and the signpost reads “Last stop: helicopter money.”
Koo continues to unload on central bankers, slamming their "faith that the economy will pick up if only money is dropped from the sky" that has provided a psychological foundation for economists and policymakers convinced of the efficacy of monetary policy. It also explains why nothing has worked yet. The Nomura strategist then mocks "their belief that dropping money from helicopters would revive the economy that has led them to assume that slightly less extreme policies such as quantitative easing and inflation targeting would also have a positive economic impact (albeit a more modest one)."
This is precisely what we said in March 2009 when the Fed first launched QE, and were mocked. It has now become mainstream.