It seems Christmas came early for many this year. On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced an additional $605 billion to its ongoing stimulus program. Under the bank’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), the total asset purchases are now valued at $1.85 trillion euros, now set to run to March 2022.
The Governing Council of the ECB reiterated its temporary stance on the programs, expressing it would conduct net purchases until its Governing Council judges that the "coronavirus crisis phase is over."
They also stated their low to negative rates will remain until its inflation targets get “close to, but below” 2%.
Earlier in the week the Bank of Japan bested the ECB, unveiling a $708 billion stimulus package. From what we’ve been told, it will include “subsidies for green investment and spending on digitalisation,” as well as “promoting domestic travel and spurring consumption,” plus support for promoting carbon neutrality initiatives.
The newly elected Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Suga explained it as follows:
We have compiled these measures to maintain employment, sustain business and restore the economy and open a way to achieve new growth in green and digital areas, so as to protect people's lives and livelihoods.
This new package would bring total stimulus spending to $3 trillion for the year!
What about the neighbors to the north?
In Canada, there is a newly announced $100bn CAD (approximately $77 billion USD) package which promises to “kick-start the country's post-pandemic economy,” as reported by the BBC. While this pales in comparison to the stimulus offered by the ECB and Japan, the Canadian Minister of Finance called it:
the largest economic relief package for our country since the Second World War.
Some of that money will be used for vaccine agreements, as Ms. Freeland noted:
“Canada has secured the most diverse vaccine portfolio in the world."
Providing assurance there will be enough for each Canadian to receive 10 doses, free of charge.
Between free vaccines, green spending, carbon initiatives, bailouts for restaurants and bond buying, world governments are putting trillions of dollars to work for their people, just in time for the holiday season.
As for the USA, as of Thursday CNBC reported the headline:
McConnell rejects bipartisan Covid relief plan while House adjourns until next week.
It seems Capital Hill is taking their time approving the estimated $900 billion stimulus bill, which would make it the largest out of the newly announced initiatives.
Across the globe, governments and their central banks decided the economy must occasionally receive monetary “stimulation” especially in times of crisis. We are presented these billion-dollar packages, under the auspices of the helping hand of government. We are told this will be “free” in some cases, and that this money will help us “kick-start” the stalled economic engine. However, few people dare ask where this money comes from or the consequences of these economic plans.
The mainstream economic community fails to point out this money is not from tax dollars, but from a debt burden and increase to the money supply, causing numerous side effects; this stimulus, possibly being a cure worse than the disease. Worse yet, a large part of this debt burden is taken up by each nation’s respective central bank, such that, without central banking support, these programs would hardly be possible.
This holiday season, let’s remember that anything given by a government or a central bank has been taken from someone else, or at least taken from our future. There is no such thing as a free gift from government because they have no money of their own. As for central banks, their gifts are even less appealing, because they can only “help” by distorting price and profit mechanisms through currency debasement and manipulation of interest rates.