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QE Addiction? Language Disputed with Lords Committee

Lords Committee
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EDITOR NOTE: If you think you’re the only one who thinks that central banks are “addicted” to printing money and implementing quantitative easing policy, think again. You now have like-minded allies in the UK House of Lords committee. The branch of the British Parliament took a shot at their own central bank recently and the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, took serious offense. The takeaway is, when even notoriously out-of-touch politicians realize that central banks are manipulating currency way too much, it’s time to buy as much non-CUSIP gold and silver as possible. 

Andrew Bailey has lashed out at his predecessor and other peers for describing his institution’s approach to monetary policy as an “addiction”

Andrew Bailey ’s war of words with Lords committee raises eyebrows as it pits him against his predecessor

Andrew Bailey took aim at the Lords economic affairs committee after it suggested the Bank was hooked on printing money in a damning report published last month.The Bank governor took umbrage with the title of the report, “Quantitative easing [QE]: a dangerous addiction?”, insisting it was inappropriate language for parliamentarians to adopt in this context. He argued that using the word “addiction” in such a way undermined the pain of real addicts.

Appearing at a press conference on Thursday, Mr Bailey said: “I’m going to be very blunt. First of all, I think the House of Lords should not use the word ‘addicted’.“That is a word that has a very damaging and very particular meaning to many people who are suffering. I think it is wrong to use that word loosely and frankly I think it was a very poor choice of language.”

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, the Tory chairman of the committee, expressed incredulity at the complaint, branding it “extraordinary”.Asked if he regretted the language, the senior peer said: “This is a committee report, it is a unanimous report, it includes on it a number of very distinguished former Treasury ministers, a Treasury permanent secretary.

“It was very carefully considered and we expect a considered response from the Bank.”The intervention raised eyebrows on Thursday night as it pitted Mr Bailey, who took the helm at the Bank last year, against his predecessor, Lord King of Lothbury, who sits on the 13-strong committee of peers.

The crossbencher served as Bank governor from 2003 to 2013, before handing over the reins to Mark Carney.Mr Bailey also addressed the substance of the committee’s report, which warned that quantitative easing was potentially leading to higher inflation and was increasingly seen as a tool to finance government spending.

He rejected allegations that the central bank was inappropriately funding the state through the programme it reprised to counter the economic harm wrought by the pandemic.“Every borrower benefits from it [QE] and ‘every borrower’ includes the Government,” he said. “We’re not doing it for the Government.”

On Thursday, the Bank issued guidance on how it would scale back QE. Mr Bailey insisted this was not in response to the Lords report but was the “right thing to do”.His chagrin over the use of a specific term recalled a series of rows over language that have erupted on political fronts in recent years.

The labelling of senior judges as “traitors” and “enemies of the people” during the constitutional crisis over Brexit in 2019 sparked widespread outcry.A former Labour MP, meanwhile, came in for censure after demanding Jeremy Corbyn “call off the dogs”, with the accusation that he was likening party members to animals.

Carolyn Harris, the Labour vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on recovery from addictions, weighed in behind Mr Bailey over his complaint.

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