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Narayana Kocherlakota

'Helicopter Money' Won't Provide Much Extra Lift

The government has ample power to boost the economy on its own.
Not as big of a deal as it may seem.

Not as big of a deal as it may seem.

Photographer: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Global central bankers' quest for unconventional ways to stimulate weak economies has generated a lot of excitement about "helicopter money," a policy that entails creating money and giving it directly to people or the government to spend.

The excitement seems unwarranted to me and misses the important point: The government has all the borrowing and spending power it needs to boost the economy and get inflation up to the desired level, if only it had the will.