Legendary economist schools the BBC’s Nick Robinson for talking utter nonsense

Ann Pettifor and Nick Robinson

Legendary economist Ann Pettifor schooled the BBC’s Nick Robinson for talking nonsense on 18 June. Pettifor, one of the few economists to predict the financial crash, caught Robinson spreading what is perhaps the greatest economic myth.

The BBC Radio 4 Today presenter wrote:

Robinson is speaking about Theresa May’s pledge to inject new cash in the NHS, funded by a so-called ‘Brexit dividend’. But Pettifor, director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), pointed out holes in Robinson’s claim:

Pettifor told Robinson that spending actually comes before taxes. She highlighted the point:

The government cannot tax money that isn’t first created somewhere.

Quantitative easing

Sanctioned by the 2009 Labour government, the Bank of England initially created £75bn in what’s called ‘quantitative easing’. In other words, the UK government represents a sovereign country that can create money to spend in the economy. The economic strategy after the 2007/8 financial crisis shows this. Robinson’s claim that we can only spend money through borrowing or higher taxes is a myth.

Currently, private banks create 97% of our money when they issue loans to people. This means we effectively rent our money from private banks in the form of debt. The ‘magic money tree’ is real, but the private sector has confiscated it.

In the video below, Prof Dirk Bezemer from the University of Groningen and International Monetary Fund economist Michael Kumhof explain this:

When the government sanctioned quantitative easing in response to the crisis, the money merely inflated the finance sector. Campaign group Positive Money argues that the Bank of England should hand the money to the government to spend in the real economy, like on the NHS. They argue this would stimulate the economy much more effectively.

Smash myths

It’s worrying that prominent commentators such as Nick Robinson do not seem to understand this crucial part of economics. We need to smash these myths in order to unlock the true potential of a modern state.

Get Involved!

Join Positive Money who are campaigning for a banking system that works for us.

Support the Canary so we can continue to smash the prevalent myths.

– Write to your MP asking if they are aware of how money is created.

Featured image via Youtube and Johnpagenet/ Flickr

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed