ECB’s Weidmann Says Unlimited Money Creation Risks Inflation

Only with fixed fx, where ‘money creation’ is better described as ‘deficit spending’.

Shame shame shame.

ECB’s Weidmann Says Unlimited Money Creation Risks Inflation

By Jeff Black and Jana Randow

September 18 (Bloomberg) — Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said central banks that promise to create unlimited amounts of money risk fueling inflation and losing their credibility.

In a ceremonial speech in Frankfurt today, Weidmann, who opposes the European Central Bank’s plan to spend unlimited amounts on government bonds, spoke of the responsibilities that central banks have to preserve the value of money.

“If a central bank can potentially create unlimited money from nothing, how can it ensure that money is sufficiently scarce to retain its value?” he asked. “Is there not a big temptation to misuse this instrument to create short-term room to maneuver even when long-term damage is very likely? Yes, this temptation is very real, and many in the history of money have succumbed to it.”

While Weidmann didn’t directly address ECB policy, he is the only central bank governor from the 17 euro nations to publicly oppose ECB President Mario Draghi’s plan to help curb the borrowing costs of member states engulfed by the region’s debt crisis. Weidmann, who has warned the bond-buying policy is tantamount to financing governments, said today that central banks were given independence to ensure the power to create money couldn’t be abused by politicians.

“If one looks back in history, central banks were often created precisely to give the monarch the freest possible access to seemingly unlimited financial means,” Weidmann said. “The connection between states’ great financial needs and a government controlling the central bank often led to an excessive expansion of the money supply, and the result was devaluation of money through inflation.”

‘Extraordinary Privilege’

The independence of central banks is an “extraordinary privilege” and not an end in itself, he said.

“The independence serves much more to establish with credibility that monetary policy can concentrate without hindrance on keeping the value of money stable,” Weidmann said. “The best protection against the temptations inherent in monetary policy is an enlightened and stability-oriented society.”

Weidmann’s speech forms part of a series of events in Frankfurt on the theme of money in the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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