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22 Jan, 2015 10:21

EU better off with ‘helicopter checks’ not QE

The European Central Bank is expected to unveil a multibillion, if not trillion dollar, bond buying program, to save the troubled euro economy. One analyst suggests ‘easy money’ has failed in the past, and direct payment to people would be more effective.

In a bid to battle eurozone deflation, the European Central Bank is considering a massive cash injection into the bloc's economy.

If the bank takes the aggressive step, it will announce a €1.1 trillion deal, or €50 billion in bond purchases per month through December 2016, according to two euro-area central bank officials, Bloomberg News reports. A milder €500 billion package was previously suggested.

READ MORE: 5 simple facts about US ‘easy money’

An alternative is put forward by financial analyst Ben Dyson who advocates that ‘helicopter’ money would better help stimulate the eurozone economy, or writing each citizen a check for €1,500-2,000, instead of making the rich even richer by inflating the stock market.

“If you gave that money directly to people and allowed them to spend it, that would create a recovery much faster than QE,” Dyson told RT.

READ MORE 'Easy money' a relief for financiers, burden for most Americans - former Fed trader

Private bond buying has been employed by the Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve, and the Bank of Japan.

#ECB preview via @AxelMerkpic.twitter.com/mVpKmFLI06

— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) January 22, 2015

QE “hasn’t been effective in the US or the UK, what is has done is pushed up financial asset prices, it’s made the very wealthy even wealthier- very little of that money has trickled down to the real economy,” Dyson said.

The ‘helicopter’ money scenario was named by American economist Milton Friedman, who in 1969 suggested the unorthodox money stimulus plan, which actually involved dropping cash from helicopters for people to pick up.

“The basic idea is by flooding money into these financial markets you make people that have investments in the market wealthier,” Dyson said.

The eurozone economy has been depressed by deflation and slow recovery from recession, and ECB President Mario Draghi has promised to do “whatever it takes” to kick start growth.

Draghi will meet with bank governors on Thursday and will make a rate decision announcement at 13:45 CET in Frankfurt, which will be followed by a news conference at 14:30 CET.