The Chicago Plan Revisited (FMI)

23 septembre 2012

C’est une très longue étude (70 pages) de deux économistes du Fond Monétaire International qui est téléchargeable ici
Je me contente sur ce billet de copier la conclusion, le résumé (abstract) et l’introduction… L’ensemble de l’étude est très favorable au « 100% monnaie », ce n’est hélas pas pour autant que le FMI va préconiser ce basculement


IMF Working Paper
The Chicago Plan Revisited
Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof

© 2012 International Monetary Fund    WP/12/202
IMF Working Paper
Research Department

Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

At the height of the Great Depression a number of leading U.S. economists advanced a proposal for monetary reform that became known as the Chicago Plan. It envisaged the separation of the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, by requiring 100% reserve backing for deposits. Irving Fisher (1936) claimed the following advantages for this plan:
(1) Much better control of a major source of business cycle fluctuations, sudden increases and contractions of bank credit and of the supply of bank-created money.
(2) Complete elimination of bank runs.
(3) Dramatic reduction of the (net) public debt.
(4) Dramatic reduction of private debt, as money creation no longer requires simultaneous debt creation.

We study these claims by embedding a comprehensive and carefully calibrated model of the banking system in a DSGE model of the U.S. economy. We find support for all four of Fisher’s claims. Furthermore, output gains approach 10 percent, and steady state inflation can drop to zero without posing problems for the conduct of monetary policy.

Commençons par la conclusion de l’article:

VIII.    Conclusion
This paper revisits the Chicago Plan, a proposal for fundamental monetary reform that was put forward by many leading U.S. economists at the height of the Great Depression. Fisher (1936), in his brilliant summary of the Chicago Plan, claimed that it had four major advantages, ranging from greater macroeconomic stability to much lower debt levels throughout the economy. In this paper we are able to rigorously evaluate his claims, by applying the recommendations of the Chicago Plan to a state-of-the-art monetary DSGE model that contains a fully microfounded and carefully calibrated model of the current U.S. financial system. The critical feature of this model is that the economy’s money supply is created by banks, through debt, rather than being created debt-free by the government.
Our analytical and simulation results fully validate Fisher’s (1936) claims. The Chicago Plan could significantly reduce business cycle volatility caused by rapid changes in banks’ attitudes towards credit risk, it would eliminate bank runs, and it would lead to an instantaneous and large reduction in the levels of both government and private debt. It would accomplish the latter by making government-issued money, which represents equity in the commonwealth rather than debt, the central liquid asset of the economy, while banks concentrate on their strength, the extension of credit to investment projects that require monitoring and risk management expertise. We find that the advantages of the
44 The lending volume of the aforementioned non-bank investment trusts could also be regulated by coun-tercyclical capital adequacy requirements.

Chicago Plan go even beyond those claimed by Fisher. One additional advantage is large steady state output gains due to the removal or reduction of multiple distortions, including interest rate risk spreads, distortionary taxes, and costly monitoring of macroeconomically unnecessary credit risks. Another advantage is the ability to drive steady state inflation to zero in an environment where liquidity traps do not exist, and where monetarism becomes feasible and desirable because the government does in fact control broad monetary aggregates. This ability to generate and live with zero steady state inflation is an important result, because it answers the somewhat confused claim of opponents of an exclusive government monopoly on money issuance, namely that such a monetary system would be highly inflationary. There is nothing in our theoretical framework to support this claim. And as discussed in Section II, there is very little in the monetary history of ancient societies and Western nations to support it either.

Si vous souhaitez lire l’introduction, la voici … pour le reste nous vous laissons télécharger l’article complet

I.    Introduction
The decade following the onset of the Great Depression was a time of great intellectual ferment in economics, as the leading thinkers of the time tried to understand the apparent failures of the existing economic system. This intellectual struggle extended to many domains, Lire le reste de cette entrée »