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Carry on with the pills and ointment.

“What seems to be the trouble Mr Britain? I really thought we had got you back on your feet.”

“I was feeling a bit better last week with the Jubilee and that, but now it is over I am feeling pretty groggy again. The QE treatment just doesn’t seem to be working. I have no energy, I lack drive and I’m getting more and more into debt. My output has dropped through the floor and my sales are at rock bottom. Unless you can do something quickly I’m finished.”

“Do you feel sluggish and you’re afraid to spend money in the shops? Are you having difficulty with your mortgage repayments and the bank is breathing down your neck?”

“Yes, it’s so debilitating.”

“Sounds to me as if you have double dip depression with possible inflation and a collapsed confidence.”

“But you assured me that if I had a QE dose of £325billion it would put me on the road to recovery and everything would be OK.”

“Ah, but that’s the counter factual you see. We experts never know whether the treatment works or not. All we can do is to surmise that the result might be much worse if we hadn’t given you the treatment, but we can never be sure.”

“That seems very hit and miss to me.”

“I always warned you that QE was an experiment. Short of a miracle QE is our only option in epidemic cases like these.”

“But how could you put me through so much austerity and pain knowing the treatment might make matters worse?”

“That’s the trouble with QE – it is so easy to produce – I just press a button on my computer and there it is. But it can easily disappear into thin air.”

“What do you suggest I do?”

“I don’t know whether to tell you to roll up your sleeves and get back to work or roll up your sleeves and I’ll give you another QE injection. Say a does of £50bn just to see if that does the trick.”

“I don’t want any tricks! I want a long-term solution. I can’t go on like this for much longer. I’ll go bust. How can I go on? My world will collapse.”

“Now, now, let’s not get to melodramatic. My advice is tighten your belt and carry on. I think the best course of action is to come back on Thursday after I have a meeting with some MPC colleagues in London who will decide what to do. So until then, carry on with the pills and ointment. Oh, sorry, I forgot, I haven’t given you any.”