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Innocent Frauds Meet Goodhart's Law in Monetary Policy

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  • Dirk Bezemer
  • Geoffrey Gardiner

Abstract

This paper discusses recent UK monetary policies as instances of John Kenneth Galbraith's "innocent fraud," including the idea that money is a thing rather than a relationship, the fallacy of composition (i.e., that what is possible for one bank is possible for all banks), and the belief that the money supply can be controlled by reserves management. The origins of the idea of quantitative easing (QE), and its defense when it was applied in Britain, are analyzed through this lens. An empirical analysis of the effect of reserves on lending is conducted; we do not find evidence that QE "worked," either by a direct effect on money spending, or through an equity market effect. These findings are placed in a historical context in a comparison with earlier money control experiments in the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bezemer & Geoffrey Gardiner, 2010. "Innocent Frauds Meet Goodhart's Law in Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_622, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_622
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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_622.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markus Jantti & Eva Sierminska & Tim Smeeding, 2008. "The Joint Distribution of Household Income and Wealth: Evidence from the Luxembourg Wealth Study," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 65, OECD Publishing.
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    Keywords

    Quantitative Easing; UK Innocent Frauds; Accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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