But James Hamilton last week provided a nicer, more intelligible, layman’s summary.
A helicopter drop of money is a permanent /irreversible increase in the nominal stock of fiat base money with a zero nominal interest rate, which respects the intertemporal budget constraint of the consolidated Central Bank and fiscal aut hority/Treasury – henceforth the State. An example would be a temporary fiscal stimulus (say a one – off transfer payment to households, as in Friedman’s example), funded permanently through an increase in the stock of base money. It could also be a permanen t increase in the stock of base money through an irreversible open market purchase by the Central Bank of non -monetary sovereign debt held by the public – that is, QE . The reason is that QE, viewed as an irreversible or permanent purchase of non- monetary f inancial assets by the Central Bank funded through an irreversible or permanent increase in the stock of base money, relaxes the intertemporal budget constraint of the State.