Printing Money at a “Constant” or “Stable” Rate Won’t Prevent Boom-Bust Cycles

by Frank Shostak

According to Milton Friedman, the key cause of the business cycles is the fluctuations in the growth rate of money supply. Friedman held that what is required for the elimination of these cycles is for central bank policymakers to aim at a fixed growth rate of money supply:

My choice at the moment would be a legislated rule instructing the monetary authority to achieve a specified rate of growth in the stock of money. For this purpose, I would define the stock of money as including currency outside commercial banks plus all deposits of commercial banks. I would specify that the Reserve System should see to it that the total stock of money so defined rises month by month, and indeed, so far as possible, day by day, at an annual rate of X per cent, where X is some number between 3 and 5. The precise definition of money adopted and the precise rate of growth chosen make far less difference than the definite choice of a particular definition and a particular rate of growth.1

Could, however, the implementation of the constant money supply growth rule eliminate economic fluctuations?

Continue Reading at…