An interesting, if obliquely written, post by Adair Turner caught my eye a couple days ago.
Let me dare interpret Mr. Turner’s words, if I may. “The money has already hit the streets so, whichever way the governments’ accountants choose to cook the books is irrelevant, except for the fact that we all like to save face. I cannot imagine why economic agents should care whether the pieces of paper stored in their central banks’ vaults say one thing or the other or do not exist at all.”
I couldn’t agree more. Zimbabwe, Weimar, Hungary or Venezuela differ from the US only in that, beyond a certain degree, face cannot be saved and monetary illusion collapses. I remember the One Trillion note proposed by Mr. Krugman fondly, because if comes closer to admit reality, i.e. the government can inflate whenever they feel like and they are already doing it with gusto. That they are doing it in the “right” amount it is another story and that they will be equally willing to deflate when prices catch up is another.
The real game is one of redistribution, as different degrees of inflation move wealth between their citizens’ pockets. I hope one day societies are mature enough to live without the thin veil of this illusion.