The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday, Nov. 10, edition that Western University economics professor emeritus David Laidler says the Bank of Canada's lack of focus on the money supply represents a threat to our economic well-being. The Globe's David Parkinson writes that the money supply has reversed course and is now contracting. The Bank of Canada is focused on a public message that it can and will bring inflation back to its 2-per-cent target, and that higher interest rates are its tool for achieving that. This may be why it is so hesitant to let money supply drift back into the policy conversation. The last thing it needs is to create any question that it has any policy target other than 2-per-cent inflation.
However, to the extent that the BOC in its internal policy discussions has undersold money supply, it does so at its peril. The acceleration of money growth earlier in the pandemic certainly played a bigger role in the inflation we see today than the bank anticipated. Unless the bank pays heed to the sudden and sharp reversal of money supply that is now taking hold -- unless it studies the phenomenon and understands it -- it could set us on a path to further policy missteps.
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