BRIAN KANTOR: Central banks are rightly seizing the Covid-19 moment
What would SA’s GDP have been without the coronavirus, compared to its likely figure well into 2021?
How are governments and their central banks responding to the damage from the lockdowns forced on their economies and their citizens? They are doing all they can to minimise the damage to incomes sacrificed during the lockdowns. There is no reluctance to spend — the issue is not about how much but rather how best to spend. Restraints on fiscal deficits and money creation have been abandoned — and rightly so in the circumstances.
When so much central bank lending is to the government, even via the secondary market replacing other lenders, the distinction between monetary and fiscal policy falls away. The British government made this clear when it exercised its right to a large overdraft on the Bank of England (BOE). The BOE could not and would not say no to such a demand for funding, given the state of the UK...