Financial repression and funding a green revolution
Comment of the Day

April 14 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Financial repression and funding a green revolution

Thanks to a subscriber for this transcript of an interview with Russell Napier. Here is a section: 

So that’s where we are at the minute. I think they’re rushing round trying to do something piece-by-piece. I suspect that in the last-, since the blowout of gilt yields, I see a moving hand here, rather than someone playing whack-a-mole. I see a government, increasingly, that they’re somewhere in there, whether it’s in the treasury of somewhere else, that realises the direction of travel has to be financial repression. So, I think the best example of that in the UK is, I don’t know if he’s passed it yet, but Rishi Sunak was looked for the power to overhaul all our financial regulators to push that power into the hands of the prime minister. The question is why? As chancellor of the exchequer, this is not a power that he sought.

So, I think people are beginning to realise that, yes, you can go round and whack-a-mole, so it’s happening anyway, but there could come a time where we have to something more aggressive. For me, it’s pretty obvious what that aggressive is, which is forcing savings institutions to buy government bonds. That’s the core of a financial repression. We haven’t taken that giant leap yet, but I think since the crisis in the gilt market, there is evidence I think, that someone realises that that is where we might end up and they’re preparing to have to take that leap. To stress this is not a UK problem, it’s the entire developed world and actually, Japan might have to go first in terms of that major jump.

Eoin Treacy's view

Inflation running well above the prevailing interest rate for a prolonged period will improve government debt to GDP ratios. The caveat is the total debt cannot simultaneously continue to accelerate higher. That’s the route to hyperinflation. Therefore financial repression works by changing the weightings of where credit is created and pushes the burden from the public sector back onto the private sector. 

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