We have a few things to say about the recent debunking of established monetary theories.
In case you missed it, the Bank of England issued a report in March explaining that standard textbooks get money and banking all wrong.
The authors point out that banks don’t wait for deposits before making loans, as often claimed by academics. It’s the other way around. Banks create new deposits when loans are made, for this is how loan proceeds are delivered to the ultimate recipients. The fact that deposits then slosh around from bank to bank has no bearing on future loan issuance, which is always matched with newly-created, not old, deposits.
Moreover, the role of bank reserves is badly botched by academics. Central banks don’t use the monetary base (currency plus reserves) as a tool to constrain lending, contrary to textbook descriptions of the so-called money multiplier. Rather, bank reserves are supplied by central banks “on demand”. The authors explain that policymakers normally don’t “fix the amount of money in circulation, nor is central bank money ‘multiplied up’ into more loans and deposits.”
The media conveyed these points with unusual excitement for such a bland topic. But the bigger story goes beyond banking fallacies to a between-the-lines message about economic modeling.