Printing money for fools is a ‘great business to be in’ — NZ central bank head

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Did the New Zealand Reserve Bank governor just let the cat out of the bag? 

During a parliamentary committee meeting on Feb. 12, New Zealand Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr joked about the modern central banking system, which was met with laughter:

“It’s a great business to be in, central banking, where you print money and people believe it.”

Earlier in the meeting, Orr said the central bank had been faced with several “fiscal challenges” and had received several “letters of expectations” from ministers to be as cost-effective as possible.

“We actually fund ourselves and then decide what dividends to pay,” Orr said.

Joke or not, several Bitcoiners saw an element of truth behind Orr’s words. “He said the quiet part out loud,” said Bitcoin YouTuber Mike Still in a Feb. 13 post on X.

Bitcoiners have long argued that money should be separated from the state and that Bitcoin is the only financial network that acts free from government manipulation.

“We know it’s a scam. They know it’s a scam. They know we know it’s a scam,” commented Bitcoiner and software engineer Jameson Lopp.

“The only way to win is to not play their game. We have to make them play our game instead.”

While Bitcoiners and the broader cryptocurrency community don’t agree on everything, the majority believe central bank digital currencies (CBDC) will further centralize money and restrict freedoms.

Related: New Zealand parliamentary report advises against hasty crypto regulation

The hearing was part of the central bank’s annual review. During the meeting, Orr said he was “critically concerned” with the rise of decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), which he argued lacks the three main properties of money.

“It’s neither a means of exchange, it’s not a store of value and it’s not a unit of account.”

Orr isn’t a fan of stablecoins either, explaining that they don’t compliment central bank money because they’re not stable enough.

“They’re only as good as the balance sheet of the person offering that stablecoin.”

New Zealand has been exploring the possibility of implementing a CBDC since September 2021.

Magazine: Unstablecoins: Depegging, bank runs and other risks loom