…Most persuasive, however, is the man himself. If only three people actually understand global finance, Mosler might well be the only one to also understand international bond markets. He has, after all, traded in them for more than 40 years, managing billions in funds and making millions in profit. It was during his most profitable trades – on Italian government bonds in the 1990s – Mosler says, that he had his epiphany.
”We made a lot of money by betting the Italian government wouldn’t default even though their debt-to GDP ratio had exceeded 110 per cent,” Mosler recalls. ”I knew no country that issued its own currency ever had defaulted, nor had they ever had to ‘print money’ to pay, but I didn’t know why. Eventually it hit me: buying securities from a country’s central bank or its treasury are both functionally the same.”
They’re supposed to be different, Mosler points out: central banks sell securities in order to drain reserves, while treasuries supposedly do it to raise expenditure. ”But the end result is exactly the same – a pile of money sitting in securities accounts at the country’s central bank,” he says. ”The inescapable conclusion is that treasury sales of government debt don’t actually raise funds: they too simply drain reserves. That means that it is government spending and taxing that actually impacts the economy, not managing the debt…
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