Banco de Inglaterra e a mudança de paradigma na economia

Uma interessante entrevista de Olaf Storbeck ao director-executivo do Bank of England para a estabilidade financeira, Andrew Haldane.

How did your own perception changed during the crisis? Have you always been sceptical?

Luckily, I had done some thinking about some of these issues before the crisis. I started to work on network models with interactions in 2003/2004. That is not to suggest that I got everything right. That’s certainly not the case. But those models showed that financial integration was a double edged sword. In the good times, when shocks are small, financial integration serves as a shock absorber, because risk was spread around the system. But if the shocks are sufficiently large, it flips around, and the system becomes a shock transmitter. You end up with a world that was very robust and yet fragile at the same time.

How were these results received by the discipline?

Prior to the crisis, this work did not arise particular interest – including by me, to be honest. I thought these results were interesting, but I was not like crying that the sky was going to fall in on the scale that we saw only a few years later.

What kind of policy implications do these network models have?

There are three different implications. First, we need better surveillance and data to understand interconnections in the financial system. Stress testing is also necessary for figuring out where the cliff edges are and how big they might be. The second insight is that you need to know where the key nodes of the system are. They require greater protection rather than less protection. This is a epidemiological lesson about vaccinating the super-spreaders. Hence we are working on the “too big to fail” phenomenon and are seeking to put in place extra insurance for systemically important players. The third thing is that you might want to reconfigure the system to make it less fragile in the first place. There need to be redundancies in the system – circuit breakers, for example, that prevent the spread of contagion. All three have now found their way into the responses of policymakers during the crisis.

Hence contemporary macro has been rendered useless?

No, I would not want to dump all that has been done. There is still a usefulness in the existing workhorse models, suitably augmented with some of the things I’ve discussed. Those models need a more imaginative introduction of expectations, a more imaginative introduction of heterogenous agents, and a more imaginative introduction of financial frictions. That said, it would be a real mistake to confine ourselves to that one class of model. We need a more plural approach to the way we think things through. So I would like to see much greater intellectual investment in different frameworks.

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