Economics

Milton Friedman's 'Helicopter Money' Is Looking Less Crazy

"If all else fails?" All else has pretty much failed.

Give that man a pilot's license.

Photographer: Jon Freilich

Increasingly, central bankers, economists and market watchers are discussing the pros and cons of what's called helicopter money, a 47-year old idea that posits a way to kickstart an economy through dropping money on its citizens. Peter Praet of the European Central Bank, for example, said in an interview published last week that "all central banks can do it" if needed; his ECB colleague Jens Weidmann warned that such a move "would rip huge holes in central bank balance sheets." Helicopter money feels very much like an idea whose time may be coming.

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