The Most Revolutionary Act

Uncensored updates on world events, economics, the environment and medicine

The Most Revolutionary Act

Chatham House Chair Calls for G20 Driven People’s Quantitative Easing

Coronavirus: All Citizens Need an Income Support

Jim O’Neill, Chair Chatham House*


We cannot expect policies such as the dramatic monetary steps announced by the Federal Reserve Board and others like it, to end this crisis. A People’s Quantitative Easing (QE) could be the answer.

Delivery bike rider wearing a face mask as a precaution against coronavirus at Madrid Rio park. Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images.
Delivery bike rider wearing a face mask as a precaution against coronavirus at Madrid Rio park. Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images.<

Linked to the call for a global response to the Covid-19 pandemic that I, Robin Niblett and Creon Butler have outlined, the case for a specific dramatic economic policy gesture from many policymakers in large economies is prescient.

It may not be warranted from all G20 nations, although given the uncertainties, and the desire to show collective initiative, I think it should be G20 driven and inclusive.

We need some sort of income support for all our citizens, whether employees or employers. Perhaps one might call it a truly People’s QE (quantitative easing).

Against the background of the previous economic crisis from 2008, and the apparent difficulties that more traditional forms of economic stimulus have faced in trying to help their economies and their people – especially against a background of low wage growth, and both actual, and perception of rising inequality – other ideas have emerged.

Central banks printing money

Both modern monetary theory (MMT) and universal basic income (UBI) essentially owe their roots to the judgement that conventional economic policies have not been helping.

At the core of these views is the notion of giving money to people, especially lower income people, directly paid for by our central banks printing money. Until recently, I found myself having very little sympathy with these views but, as a result of COVID-19, I have changed my mind […]

*Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization based in London whose mission is to analyze and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs. It is the originator of the Chatham House Rule.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: