Paying for the coronavirus rescue measures – Economics Explained EP31 with Joe Branigan

I recorded another Economics Explained podcast episode on coronavirus with my good friend and former Treasury colleague Joe Branigan last night, this time exploring how governments will finance the rescue packages and make up for lost revenue. Here’s a link to Episode 31 Paying for the coronavirus rescue measures with Joe Branigan.

Use these timestamps to help you jump right to the highlights:

  • 5:45 – I recall my time in the Australian Treasury’s Budget Policy Division where I dealt with debt policy and cash management issues
  • 7:15 – discussion of how governments borrow money by selling bonds
  • 12:20 – discussion of bond auctions/tenders by the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)
  • 17:30 – who buys bonds? (for Australian info, check out the excellent AOFM article The Australian Government Securities investor base)
  • 20:00 – discussion of Bank of England direct financing of UK Gov’t spending (discussed in a pay-walled article in the Financial Times, Bank of England to directly finance UK government’s extra spending), monetisation of deficits, and Modern Monetary Theory
  • 29:20 – repaying versus refinancing/refunding the debt
  • 31:10 – long-term problems/risks with government debt
  • 37:30 – overview of Joe’s research on costs and benefits of coronavirus policy measures

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