Another superb article from Liam Halligan:
While the US has doubled its monetary base over the last 18 months, the UK’s base money supply has tripled. That’s right – UK base money is now three times bigger as a percentage of GDP than it was at the start of 2009. Given all that money-printing – sorry, QE – the danger is that inflation expectations take hold, and price pressures spin out of control.
For now, a lot of the UK’s QE money remains “inert”, and therefore not yet inflationary, seeing as the banking sector has so far refused to lend it on to firms and households – one reason the UK economy remains so weak. That will continue to be the case, in my view, until the banks have black-mailed the British government into following America’s “lead”, and expanded QE to include the purchase of toxic corporate “assets” as well as government bonds.
Eventually, though – and it may not take long – the huge expansion of the UK’s base money supply will cause broader monetary aggregates to balloon as well, even if credit creation multiples remain relatively subdued. The QE money is out there and is almost impossible to withdraw. Once that money gets into circulation, and is leant against many times over, the UK could face “stagflation” – when high and rising inflation combines with an economic slump.
I recommend the whole article.