Globalno gospodarstvo v nevarnosti – čas za akcijo

Larry Summers v Washington Postu piše o tem, da je s tem, ko celotno globalno gospodarstvo zapada v nevarnost nizke rasti, treba (končno) spremeniti tudi pogled na makroekonomske politike. Monetarna politika očitno ne deluje, saj kljub ogromnemu pumpanju sveže likvidnosti v gospodarstvo s strani največjih gospodarstev (ZDA, Japonska, Kitajska, V. Britanija, Evro območje) cene polzijo v deflacijo ali ostajajo pod ničlo, gospodarska rast pa se ohlaja ali ostaja izjemno nizka. Pomemben je preskok v miselnosti. Monetarne oblasti bi morale začeti kupovati tudi bolj rizične korporativne vrednostne papirje, fiskalna politika pa bi morala začeti bolj aktivno spodbujati rast. Nauk, ki sledi iz dogajanja na finančnih trgih, je po Summersovem mnenju, da je danes javni dolg premajhen in ne prevelik. Države bi morale povečati dolg z namenom financiranja produktivnih kapacitet.

Jaz bi k temu Summersovem razmišljanju dodal, da je potrebna tudi politika “QE za ljudi”, torej večje zadolževanje držav z namenom zmanjšanja davkov ali povečanja transferjev gospodinjstvom, kar bi dvignilo zasebno potrošnjo. Seveda pa ta politika zahteva sodelovanje med monetarno in fiskalno politiko, torej pozabiti na ideološke težave glede kvazi neodvisnosti centralnih bank.

Policymakers badly underestimate the risks of both a return to recession in the West and of a period where global growth is unacceptably slow, a global growth recession. If a recession were to occur, monetary policymakers would lack the tools to respond. There is essentially no room left for easing in the industrial world. Interest rates are expected to remain very low almost permanently in Japan and Europe and to rise only very slowly in the United States. Today’s challenges call for a clear global commitment to the acceleration of growth as the main goal of macroeconomic policy. Action cannot be confined to monetary policy.

We are in a new macroeconomic epoch where the risk of deflation is higher than that of inflation, and we cannot rely on the self-restoring features of market economies. The effects of hysteresis — where recessions are not just costly but also stunt the growth of future output — appear far stronger than anyone imagined a few years ago. Western bond markets are sending a strong signal that there is too little, rather than too much, outstanding government debt. As always when things go badly, there is a great debate between those who believe in staying the course and those who urge a serious correction. I am convinced of the urgent need for substantial changes in the world’s economic strategy.

The central banks of Europe and Japan need to be clear that their biggest risk is a further slowdown. They must indicate a willingness to be creative in the use of the tools at their disposal. With bond yields well below 1 percent, it is doubtful that traditional quantitative easing will have much stimulative effect. They must be prepared to consider support for assets such as corporate securities that carry risk premiums that can be meaningfully reduced and even to recognize that by absorbing bonds used to finance fiscal expansion they can achieve more.

Long-term low interest rates radically alter how we should think about fiscal policy. Just as homeowners can afford larger mortgages when rates are low, government can also sustain higher deficits. If a debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 percent was appropriate when governments faced real borrowing costs of 5 percent, then a far higher figure is surely appropriate today when real borrowing costs are negative.

The case for more expansionary fiscal policy is especially strong when it is spent on investment or maintenance. Wherever countries print their own currency and interest rates are constrained by the zero bound, there is a compelling case for fiscal expansion until demand accelerates to the point where interest rates can be raised. While the problem before 2008 was too much lending, many more of today’s problems have to do with too little lending for productive investment.

Vir: Larry Summers, Washington Post

%d bloggers like this: