A regra de Taylor e a instabilidade financeira

Pode a política monetária causar bolhas de activos? John Taylor, o pai da regra de Taylor, acredita que sim, e tem defendido que foi o laxismo da Fed entre 2002 e 2005 que insuflou a bolha no sector imobiliário. As acusações geraram uma série de respostas na blogosfera americana, como Tony Yates e Paul Krugman. Desta vez, um peso pesado juntou-se à discussão: Ben Bernanke.

A primeira citação é de Bernanke, e incide sobre a crítica inicial de Taylor: a de que a regra de Taylor não foi seguida durante uma boa parte da década passada.

As you can see in the figure, the predictions of my updated Taylor rule (green line) and actual Fed policy (dashed black line) are generally quite close over the past two decades (the green line starts in 1996 because real-time data for the core PCE deflator are not available before then). In particular, it is no longer the case that the actual funds rate falls below the predictions of the rule in 2003-2005.

As for the period since the financial crisis, the modified Taylor rule in Figure 2 suggests that the “right” funds rate was quite negative, at least until very recently. If the Taylor rule predicts a sharply negative funds rate, which of course is not feasible, then it seems sensible for the FOMC to have done what it did: keep the funds rate close to zero (about as low as it can go) while looking for other tools (like purchases of securities) to achieve further monetary ease.

E a segunda é de Krugman, sobre um tema conexo, mas diferente: as implicações que uma mundivisão deste género teriam para a regulação bancária.

if it’s really that easy for monetary errors to endanger financial stability — if a deviation from perfection so small that it leaves no mark on the inflation rate is nonetheless enough to produce the second-worst financial crisis in history — this is an overwhelming argument for draconian bank regulation. Modest monetary mistakes will happen, so if you believe that these mistakes caused the global financial crisis you must surely believe that we need to do whatever it takes to make the system less fragile. Strange to say, however, I don’t seem to be hearing that from Taylor or anyone else in that camp.

Bernanke sobre a Alemanha

German wage hikes: a small step on the right direction, por Ben Bernanke. Infelizmente é curto, mas a ideia é a que tentei fazer aqui: o aumento da procura interna na Alemanha não é uma concessão que esta faz aos países periféricos, mas algo que faz sentido do seu próprio ponto de vista. Não há perda de emprego em favor dos PIGS, mas sim uma alteração das fontes desse crescimento. Pelo meio, ajuda-se a Grécia & companhia a reduzir a sua dívida externa, sem assumir perdas ou perdoar dívidas. É um win-win.

Allowing wages to rise is not a concession by Germany but rather part of what the country signed on to when it joined the euro zone. Germany has been insistent that the so-called peripheral countries increase their competitiveness through slower wages rises or even wage cuts. Wage increases in Germany are an equally important, and symmetrical, part of this necessary adjustment process. Moreover, this adjustment involves no German sacrifices. German firms, which will be slightly less cost-competitive, may export less but they will also see greater demand at home. German workers are unambiguously better off, receiving higher wages commensurate with their higher productivity.

The wage increases are steps in the right direction, but relatively small steps. More gains for German workers in the future would be both warranted and a win-win proposition for Germany and its trade partners.