Ameriški predsednik Barack Obama naj bi v kratkem sprejel odločitev glede naslednika Bena Bernakeja na čelu Fed. Kot sem že pisal, se je glede tega čez poletje v ameriških medijih in blogosferi odvijala prava mala vojna. Čeprav oba kandidata, Larry Summers in Janet Yellen, veljata za “goloba”, torej za pripadnika bolj pragmatične linije glede monetarne politike, se liberalni del medijskih opinion makerjev nagiba v korist Yellenove, konzervativni pa v korist Summersa. Tudi Obama favorizira Obamo.
The Economist je prav tako vzel pod lupo oba kandidata in dal svojo podporo – Yellenovi. Iz preprostega razloga, ker je bolj verjetno, da bo nadaljevala zadržan slog vodenja Feda kot Bernanke, ob hkratni pragmatičnosti monetarne politike. Po domače rečeno, zadržani odprtosti za eksperimentiranje. Na drugi strani pa je Summers sicer še bolj nagnjen k eksperimentiranju glede monetarne politike in bi lahko bil glede tega Obami bolj v korist. Vendar pa je njegova velika slabost nepredvidljivost in “predolg jezik”, kar bi utegnilo imeti destabilizirajoč učinek na trge. The Economist zato predlaga zanimiv dream team: Summersa za finančnega ministra in Yellenovo na čelu Fed.
The Fed has had “maestro-style” leadership before, notably under Alan Greenspan. That seemed fine, then, but these days the Fed uses more experimental tools, depends more on influencing expectations and has shallower political support. Transparency, predictability and consensus-building therefore matter more than they used to. Mr Bernanke’s low-key leadership has made it easier for him to be radical. Ms Yellen would probably take a similar approach.
The Fed’s other big task is to prevent (and, if need be, manage) crises. Here Mr Summers seems stronger. Ms Yellen delivered early warnings about the credit crunch and now helps oversee the Fed’s crisis-fighting machinery. But she has no practical experience of handling a big financial mess and no first-hand knowledge of financial markets. In 2008 she was president of the San Francisco Fed, far away from the frantic efforts to stop a global meltdown. The vilification of Mr Summers for favouring financial deregulation in the 1990s is grossly unfair: much of what he proposed was quite sensible, and the link between those decisions and the financial crisis is weak. He clearly has the upper hand in terms of crisis-management experience, having been at the centre of almost every global financial flare-up since Mexico’s near-default in 1994.
The difference between the two is small. Supporters of Mr Summers argue that the administration would be making a big mistake if it did not employ the brightest policy-minded economist in a generation with unparalleled experience of dealing with financial trouble. They are right. If Mr Obama really wants the best people in place, he should replace his uninspiring treasury secretary, Jack Lew, with Mr Summers. It is a job that Mr Summers did superbly for Bill Clinton and which plays more clearly to his strengths. Making the switch would require uncommon decisiveness from a president who is loth to change personnel. But Ms Yellen at the Fed and Mr Summers at the Treasury would make a first-rate team.
Vir: The Economist