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Simon Jenkins Says Print Print Print To Give To Shoppers.

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Just caught it on the radio at lunchtime - Simon Jenkins apparently thinks that it's about time we opened the money printing taps and gave everyone thousands of quid to go out and buy stuff. But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

Apparently there might be a bit of inflation but we should be able to cope with it - much more important to get the shop tills ringing as that is the path to recovery according to simple Simon. :lol:

According to the fiscally clueless Jenkins, all the money printed so far just went to the banks and got locked up in their vaults :rolleyes: Obviously the moron hasn't noticed the jump in commodity prices, plunge in the pound and persistent, above-target inflation that is already destroying savings and squeezing people at their financial limits.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea seemed to be going down well with the general public. <_<

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Just caught it on the radio at lunchtime - Simon Jenkins apparently thinks that it's about time we opened the money printing taps and gave everyone thousands of quid to go out and buy stuff. But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

Apparently there might be a bit of inflation but we should be able to cope with it - much more important to get the shop tills ringing as that is the path to recovery according to simple Simon. :lol:

According to the fiscally clueless Jenkins, all the money printed so far just went to the banks and got locked up in their vaults :rolleyes: Obviously the moron hasn't noticed the jump in commodity prices, plunge in the pound and persistent, above-target inflation that is already destroying savings and squeezing people at their financial limits.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea seemed to be going down well with the general public. <_<

Well, Christmas is coming and the the gobblers are heading for the ballot box it seems.

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But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

So the vouchers would have to circulate outside of the present banking system.

A publicly issued, debt-free complementary currency.

In your dreams, Simon.

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Just caught it on the radio at lunchtime - Simon Jenkins apparently thinks that it's about time we opened the money printing taps and gave everyone thousands of quid to go out and buy stuff. But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

Apparently there might be a bit of inflation but we should be able to cope with it - much more important to get the shop tills ringing as that is the path to recovery according to simple Simon. :lol:

According to the fiscally clueless Jenkins, all the money printed so far just went to the banks and got locked up in their vaults :rolleyes: Obviously the moron hasn't noticed the jump in commodity prices, plunge in the pound and persistent, above-target inflation that is already destroying savings and squeezing people at their financial limits.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea seemed to be going down well with the general public. dry.gif

Is this the same Simon Jenkins as is Chairman of the National Trust who have been campaigning against more homes?

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But the vouchers at some point would be turned into cash wouldn't they?

Better to print money and give it to people. It won't fix anything, but at least some people might be able to deleverage a bit.

Once the magic printing press has been found it will never be turned off.

Why not just go for it big time and just have a debt jubilee. The default is going to come anyway might as well have a controlled one. Lets reduce living costs.

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If you are going to print money, give everyone 5k (or whatever) to either put in a savings account with no access for a year or so, but at a decent rate, or 5k to pay down some debt. That would be much better than giving people vouchers: having that money go to pay down debt would be a less damaging solution than the short sharp jolt of printing money for vouchers. And in the longer term might allow people to pay down more debt and come out the other side ready to consume in a more sustained manner.

I am sure it isn't without its flaws as well though. :)

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Excellent opportunity for people without debts to use their savings to buy these vouchers from those with debts at, say, 90% of face value. The seller can then use the funds received to pay down their debt, the buyer can buy something of higher value for less cost.

(Actually, make it 75%)

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But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

So the vouchers would have to circulate outside of the present banking system.

A publicly issued, debt-free complementary currency.

In your dreams, Simon.

Anyone want to buy my newly printed John Lewis Voucher so I can pay down some debt?

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Should stimulate a nice little black market.

Don't want crap. So sell it new/boxed for cash. Destroy any existing secondhand market. Much like car scrappage, but open to more of us.

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But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

So the vouchers would have to circulate outside of the present banking system.

A publicly issued, debt-free complementary currency.

In your dreams, Simon.

True - can't see the bankers being happy with 'money' being issued that doesn't represent an interest-bearing debt owed to them.

But ultimately the vouchers would have to be backed by (freshly printed) pounds in order for shops/businesses to accept them so they would quickly end up in the banking system anyway as soon as they are spent in the shops. Plus of course Jenkins wanted them to be time limited to force people to buy goods and services. Given how much QE has stoked inflation at a time when we should have been seeing steep deflation, then this latest attempt to dress up money printing would send inflation towards the stratosphere.

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Ah the government is taking a careful long term view i see :D

Boost demand for imports with printed money, brilliant.

I would spend it on something I would have bought anyway, and safe an equal amount of earnings.

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But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

So the vouchers would have to circulate outside of the present banking system.

A publicly issued, debt-free complementary currency.

In your dreams, Simon.

There are towns already doing this, all over, under the condition the money gets spent locally. Just search "town prints own money" and there are several interesting stories.

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Simon Jenkins's article in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/06/economic-recovery-britain-chancellor.

I need to send Simon Jenkins a copy of Adam Fergussons's book When Money Dies - The Nightmare of the Weimar Hyper-Inflation.

Economic growth follows demand, so give people cash to spend

The chancellor's gamble hasn't paid off. An urgent shift in priorities is now needed if Britain isn't to slip back into recession

Simon Jenkins

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 6 September 2011 21.00 BST

There should be a year's VAT holiday, widespread scrappage schemes, consumer vouchers for leisure spending, and a one-off Christmas benefits surge.'

Forget "It's the economy, stupid." Switch to "It's demand, stupid." If the 20th-century revolution in economics meant anything, it was that unless people go out and buy things, there will be no jobs, no incomes, no growth. Governments can worry about borrowing, lending, inflation, fiscal rectitude, whatever until the cows come home – but without demand there is recession.

This week's economic statistics are crystal clear. The recovery of the British economy from the recession of 2009-10 is not on track. Government policy is not going according to plan. Forecasts of a year ago, of slow but firm growth, have turned false. Banks have returned to seeking foreign funk-holes. Disposable income in the UK is at its lowest peacetime level since 1921. Services have now followed manufacturing and construction into stagnation. Shopping receipts fell last month by 0.6%, with the retail consortium reporting that "on all fronts, it is not good news".

If this is not double-dip recession it is certainly starting to walk, talk and quack like one. The chancellor, George Osborne, gambled a year ago that the recovery was robust enough to withstand both his 2.5 percentage-point increase in VAT and his curb on planned public spending. Instead he would concentrate on Britain's credit rating to keep down the cost of borrowing, and hope that things would get better by the next election.

This depended on an explicit ideological gamble, that the private sector would "mop up" any loss in public sector demand, and that the Bank of England would help this by propping the banks with printed cash. In the event there was no overall decline in public spending, only a sufficient fear of one to damage confidence. There has certainly been no private sector boom and no surge in bank lending to businesses.

Indeed, each new shot of so-called quantitative easing – or cash to the banks – had led to the opposite of what was intended. Lending fell and growth weakened. The banks pleaded for ever more easing, but for a quite different reason, to bolster their balance sheets against past and future bad debts. Cash intended to go into consumer demand thus disappeared into bank vaults. There is not a shred of evidence that three years of astonishing Treasury generosity to the banks has done Britain's private sector economy one iota of good. They continue to escape any remedial regulation.

This failure has been massive and unacknowledged – the result of naked lobbying by the banks. In his recent memoir the last chancellor, Alistair Darling, described it without remorse. Rumour is that the banks may soon be given even more cash.

Lest this be thought a British quirk, the private-sector mopping up thesis has failed in America, too, of course. As the economist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times: "The private sector has not responded to [public sector] layoffs by rejoicing at the sight of a shrinking government and embarking on a hiring spree." Indeed, "multiple surveys have shown that lack of demand … is the overwhelming problem businesses face." Osborne's various excuses, that recovery is being handicapped by over-regulation, high taxation or – most recent and ludicrous of all – a shortage of rural development land, suggest he is losing touch with reality. The one shortage is of demand.

Osborne's desire to curb public spending was not in itself implausible, given that even his most ambitious cuts took spending back only some five years. In the event, he has barely curbed its rise. He has been wrestling with a lethal inheritance from Labour and, initially, austerity seemed a prudent path. For Labour's former Treasury minister, Ed Balls, to blame Osborne for the present economic situation is like Chamberlain blaming Churchill for Dunkirk.

But the prudence is not delivering recovery. When the ship is so evidently off course only a fool lets his pride deny him a correction. The correction should be an urgent boost to demand, and by every means available. Without an increase in high street spending, shops will not order and banks will not give them money.

It is pointless for Vince Cable and others to chide bankers for not lending when people are not buying. Who lends to a shop about to shut, a factory about to go bankrupt or an employee about to lose his job? The cuts that are starting to bite are in local council jobs, grants and social benefits are balanced by no surge in private demand. Therefore overall demand will fall.

This is not a matter of right- or left-wing economics. One thing on which "monetarists" and Keynesians agree is that money in circulation is the lubricant of an economy, and in recession there is a desperate need for more of it. It does not matter how often the media describe quantitative easing as "injecting more cash into the economy to jump-start the recovery". It is a lie. Printed money should go not to banks – nor to slow-start prestige projects like railways or airports – but directly to consumers.

The objective should be people spending, shops ordering, factories reopening and services employing. There should be a year's VAT holiday, widespread scrappage schemes, consumer vouchers for leisure spending as in the far east, and a one-off Christmas benefits surge – anything that gets cash into the tills.

Smart-suited commentators deride such "helicopter" cash as Mickey Mouse economics. For some reason they regard money given to banks and construction companies as respectable, whereas money put into demand as irresponsible. This is financial snobbery. The economy needs a direct infusion of cash to those who will not save it but put it straight into circulation, which mostly means the poor.

There is little point in swapping blame for what has happened. The past three years have been an object lesson in economics, leaving theories of capitalist finance with as much to answer for as did socialist planning in the 1970s. The task is to learn from the lesson. Britain's public deficit is not an intolerable proportion of domestic product, being roughly comparable with that of France and Germany.

Osborne can shift his priorities and gamble that UK credit is good enough to withstand higher spending in a recession. He can certainly gamble that inflation is the lesser of evils. He should no longer bet on austerity doing the job of recovery and bet instead on growth. If he or his enemies call that a U-turn, so be it. No one will complain if the turn works.

Edited by Take Me Back To London!

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Excellent idea.

Pumping more QE cash into zombie banks is pointless. It'll just sit on their b/sheets like the previous QE is doing earning pennies at the BoE or giving equities a temp lift whilst they cream it off in bonuses.

We're in a depression. Fiscal tightening is (as the economy is telling us) bonkers, but Osborne's backed himself into an ideological dead end on that one.

People like Tesco are doing this anyway. Giving away cash vouchers worth around 15-20% on a regular basis.Strangely it doesn't appear to have caused hyperinflation.

Edited by Red Knight

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Just caught it on the radio at lunchtime - Simon Jenkins apparently thinks that it's about time we opened the money printing taps and gave everyone thousands of quid to go out and buy stuff. But it would be in the form of vouchers which could only be exchanged for goods and services ... not used to save or pay down debt.

Apparently there might be a bit of inflation but we should be able to cope with it - much more important to get the shop tills ringing as that is the path to recovery according to simple Simon. :lol:

According to the fiscally clueless Jenkins, all the money printed so far just went to the banks and got locked up in their vaults :rolleyes: Obviously the moron hasn't noticed the jump in commodity prices, plunge in the pound and persistent, above-target inflation that is already destroying savings and squeezing people at their financial limits.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea seemed to be going down well with the general public. <_<

Err - maybe using these "vouchers" keeps the money in the bank - to pay off peoples debts?Just to repeat it.

Edited by erranta

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of course, they could cut income tax by adding 5000 to everyones tax code.

Solves nothing of course, as inflation will put up public sector borrowing to match.

As Ive posted before, history proves that printing never works, only a bit, and then fades, then they say it would have worked if they printed a bit more this time, so they print a bit more, perhaps targetted as is suggested, it will have a temporary effect, so they will do it again...

you see printing is like adding momentum to a space ship....you can boost the speed but when you run out of fuel, it stops accelerating....but it is going faster....imagine inflation as the spaceship...

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There are towns already doing this, all over, under the condition the money gets spent locally. Just search "town prints own money" and there are several interesting stories.

Yes, local complementary currencies, LETS etc. Good as far as they go.

However, presumably HMRC taxes the transactions just as though they had been conducted in sterling.

What SJ proposes would compete nationally with the entrenched debt-based banking system.

Can't happen without a radical reform of the whole national money system.

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Excellent idea.

Pumping more QE cash into zombie banks is pointless. It'll just sit on their b/sheets like the previous QE is doing earning pennies at the BoE or giving equities a temp lift whilst they cream it off in bonuses.

We're in a depression. Fiscal tightening is (as the economy is telling us) bonkers, but Osborne's backed himself into an ideological dead end on that one.

People like Tesco are doing this anyway. Giving away cash vouchers worth around 15-20% on a regular basis.Strangely it doesn't appear to have caused hyperinflation.

vouchers are not the same thing at all...you earn them by spending, then they offer you a discount on future spends. ie, the vouchers have cost you, and the firm issuing them, something.

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Excellent idea.

Pumping more QE cash into zombie banks is pointless. It'll just sit on their b/sheets like the previous QE is doing earning pennies at the BoE or giving equities a temp lift whilst they cream it off in bonuses.

We're in a depression. Fiscal tightening is (as the economy is telling us) bonkers, but Osborne's backed himself into an ideological dead end on that one.

People like Tesco are doing this anyway. Giving away cash vouchers worth around 15-20% on a regular basis.Strangely it doesn't appear to have caused hyperinflation.

So I can take these 'cash vouchers' and exchange them for actual cash? Brilliant! How do I get some?

Or did you mean 'Tesco are offering 15-20% discount deals to some people who shop in Tesco'? A bit of a difference.

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I know you all hate it but QE is coming, and at least with this idea its better than giving it straight to the bankers like last time.

Really a better solution would be to give everyone £2000 which has to be paid into a bank. Its then down to everyone individually how they handle it. For some it would pay off debt, for others it would be invested and some would probably blow a chunk of it on TV's etc. It would have the same effect of improving the T1 capital of the banks as the first QE, while also improving the situation for everyone. Although given that it would improve the situation for everyone then there is no chance of it happening.

While if they do another round of QE exactly like last time then I could well see some kind of protest movement being formed in the UK ala Israel, Spain etc.

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