Marc-Andre Pigeon: Fiscal prudes are fretting in regards to the incorrect points

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And when the federal government deficit spends, that places extra money within the fingers of households, because the current sharp downturn in family debt illustrates.

Earlier than the disaster, you possibly can be forgiven for not understanding any of this. You need to dive deep into the workings of fiscal and financial coverage to see the way it all works, as economists like College of Ottawa professor Marc Lavoie have accomplished.


U.S. economist Stephanie Kelton, a professor at Stony Brook College in New York, has written a best-selling e-book, The Deficit Fable, that boils all of it down in an accessible method.

If studying an educational article or a e-book isn’t your factor, check out the information.

The Financial institution of Canada now owns a couple of third of federal authorities debt — by means of nothing greater than typing into existence cash at greater than double its standard price.


When the federal authorities pays the curiosity, the Financial institution of Canada funnels that cash — simply accounting entries, actually — again to its solely shareholder, the federal authorities, after taking a reduce to fund its operations. Left pocket, meet proper pocket. The transfers present up on web page 214 of the federal authorities’s public accounts.

Does this imply there aren’t any limits to spending? After all not. We’ve to be conscious of inflation and, in Canada, trade charges. However it does change the dialog.

As an alternative of asking how we will “discover the cash” to supply clear water, we have to begin fascinated by the price of not offering it.


As an alternative of worrying about whether or not we will help Newfoundland and Labrador keep away from chapter (it doesn’t have a central financial institution), we ask about the price of impoverishing a province.