Ben Bernanke, Chris Burden, & More Thoughts on Printing Money

From the wikipedia entry on current Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke:

In 2002, when the word “deflation” began appearing in the business news, Bernanke gave a speech about deflation. In that speech, he mentioned that the government in a fiat money system owns the physical means of creating money. Control of the means of production for money implies that the government can always avoid deflation by simply issuing more money. (He referred to a statement made by Milton Friedman about using a “helicopter drop” of money into the economy to fight deflation.) Bernanke’s critics have since referred to him as “Helicopter Ben” or to his “helicopter printing press”.

Hmmm… a “helicopter printing press”? With a creative visionary like that at the helm, I can’t imagine why our economy is having so much trouble. Think Airwolf made by Takach.

All joking aside, it’s hard to talk about printing money without thinking of Chris Burden’s 1977 piece, “Diecimila.” In Kathan Brown’s 1996 book Ink, Paper, Metal, Wood: Painters and Sculptors at Crown Point Press, Brown recounts the details of the project which involved printing a double-sided (some say it’s the first double-sided fine art print) facsimile of an Italian 10,000 lira note. I read the book quite a few years ago and don’t have a copy myself, but if I remember correctly the piece caused quite a stir (not to mention a visit from the Italian police). Maybe Burden can get some sort of special governmental appointment out of this crisis?

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Categories: Current Events, Print-related


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