Category Archives: Humor

Quantitative Easing Explained


2 Minute Video

“Avery Largenumber, Economist” Originally aired on ABC TV’s 7.30:

Posted March 27, 2012


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Here is John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

BRYAN DAWE: Thank you very much for your time tonight.

JOHN CLARKE: It’s my great pleasure to be with you. Good evening.

BRYAN DAWE: Now, you’re an economist working in the banking sector, yeah?

JOHN CLARKE: I am. Should I get a lawyer? I think I’m entitled to legal representation if we’re gonna discuss my work.

BRYAN DAWE: No, no, no; no, no. This is just a few simple questions, don’t worry.

JOHN CLARKE: Simple questions?


JOHN CLARKE: How simple?

BRYAN DAWE: Well they’re theoretical.

JOHN CLARKE: Theoretical. I can deal – yeah, OK, we can deal with that. I mean, don’t hold me to the answers, but …

BRYAN DAWE: Why not?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, because I’m an economist and I can think of a different set of circumstances under which my responses might vary somewhat.

BRYAN DAWE: And everything’s connected to everything else, isn’t it?

JOHN CLARKE: In economics, I’m afraid that is the global fear right at the moment, yes.

BRYAN DAWE: Now, right, there’s a lot of uncertainty in world economics, isn’t there?

JOHN CLARKE: There is a great deal of uncertainty and a lack of confidence.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, and there’s a lot of talk of quantitative easing.

JOHN CLARKE: Quantitative easing, yes.

BRYAN DAWE: That’s a term we hear all the time.

JOHN CLARKE: That’s a term you hear a lot at the moment, yes.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, what exactly is quantitative easing?

JOHN CLARKE: Well I can answer this ’cause actually we’re advising a couple of governments about this right at the moment.

BRYAN DAWE: And what are you saying to them?

JOHN CLARKE: Well perhaps I should just take you through what we’re telling them to do.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, sure. Great.

JOHN CLARKE: I mean, I won’t go into a lot of detail and be indiscrete, …

BRYAN DAWE: No, that’s good.

JOHN CLARKE: … but this’ll give you an idea of how quantitative easing works.

BRYAN DAWE: Off you go, yep.

JOHN CLARKE: “Take printer out of box and place on table with the out tray facing the window.”

BRYAN DAWE: The out tray facing the window.

JOHN CLARKE: That’s right. “Load paper into the paper receptacle and place currency on glass tray F.”


JOHN CLARKE: “Check alignment by printing out a test page.”


JOHN CLARKE: “Go into copy settings and select double-sided and the number of copies you require.”

BRYAN DAWE: How many would you suggest?

JOHN CLARKE: In the case of one of our clients, it’s $80 billion. $120 billion in the case of another client and one client wants a trillion of these things.

BRYAN DAWE: Can you get printers to do that?

JOHN CLARKE: No, you can’t; you’re gonna need a bank of them. I mean, it’s a multi-printer job.

BRYAN DAWE: You’d need some big ones, wouldn’t you?

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, big industrial strength – yeah, yeah, big like a Bofors gun, all facing the window.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: Yep. “Once you’ve ascertained that you have the alignment correct, …”


JOHN CLARKE: “… you alert the banking sector, open the window and press copy.”

BRYAN DAWE: And stand well back.

JOHN CLARKE: Yes, you gotta stand well back ’cause they can create a bit of a vacuum while reaching cruising height.

BRYAN DAWE: Whereabouts?

JOHN CLARKE: In the super fund industry very often.

BRYAN DAWE: And you’d have to consider the wind direction too, wouldn’t you?

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, yeah, you don’t wanna be doing this upwind.

BRYAN DAWE: No, ’cause you’d get covered in pretend money, couldn’t you?

JOHN CLARKE: Covered in what?

BRYAN DAWE: Pretend money.

JOHN CLARKE: No, this is not pretend money; this is real currency we’re creating here.

BRYAN DAWE: But aren’t you just printing it off? I mean, these are photocopies, aren’t they?

JOHN CLARKE: Excuse me. (Talking into mobile phone) Dave, this is not gonna work. Well ’cause I’ve just explained it to a bloke and he saw through it straight away. (To Bryan Dawe) Are you in banking?


JOHN CLARKE: (Talking into mobile phone) No, he’s not even in the banking racket. OK, I’ll try that.

BRYAN DAWE: Try what?

JOHN CLARKE: Have you ever heard of Rumpelstiltskin?


JOHN CLARKE: Good, now we’re getting somewhere. Pull up a chair, I’ll tell you a tale.

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