The Case for an M2 Growth Rate of 10%


The recovery from the 2008-2009 recession has been much slower than the average recovery since the 1924 recession. As analysts who believe that the St. Louis model created by Leonall Andersen and Jerry Jordan still has relevance we believe that the slow rate of M2 growth since 2Q2009 is a major reason why GDP growth has been so slow. At the 9th Annual Missouri Economics Conference on March 27, 2009 we presented a paper, “Interwar Hoarding, Liquidity Traps, and the 2008 Solvency Trap” in which we recommended that the Federal Reserve attempt to maintain a 10% growth rate for M2 (or a growth rate of 6.80% on an inflation adjusted basis similar to the 1960, 1970, 1982 recoveries) with the hope that the plan would lead to a real GDP growth rate of 7% with an inflation rate of 3%.The title of that paper indicates two other factors hindering both M2 and GDP growth. Bank hoarding of excess reserves far in excess of ratios seen in the 1930s put the US into a liquidity trap. But in 2008 this was not an ordinary trap. We tried to coin the term “solvency trap” to indicate our belief that, using mark to market accounting, the financial system was insolvent. As Reinhart and Rogoff have noted, recoveries from financial crises tend to be slower than those from ordinary recessions. Analyses of each downturn since 1922 are conducted along with what has happened after the economy bottomed in 2Q09 including money supply analysis. Three years have passed. We continue to believe our original recommendation was correct.


Monetary Policy

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W. Carlson and C. Lackman, "The Case for an M2 Growth Rate of 10%," Modern Economy, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 197-202. doi: 10.4236/me.2013.43021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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