lunes, 5 de enero de 2009
La "Política Monindustrial" de Taylor
John Taylor, el inventor de la homónima "Regla de Taylor", y uno de los economistas conservadores más inteligentes (y más conservadores) se ha convertido en uno de los más fieros críticos de la Fed de Bernanke (que no da una, a todos deja insatisfechos).
Esta nota en el WSJ es muy simpática, y explica el término tayloriano de "política mondustrial" una melcocha de política monetaria e industrial al mismo tiempo. Como dicen mis abuelos, échense la botana:
Outspoken Fed Critic Taylor Coins ‘Mondustrial Policy’
Stanford Professor John Taylor has coined a new, unflattering term to describe the Federal Reserve’s approach to managing the financial crisis: “Mondustrial Policy.”
Mr. Taylor, a former Bush administration official who was once considered a possible successor to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, has instead emerged as an outspoken critic of the Fed. At this year’s annual meeting of the American Economic Association, the right-leaning economist keeps popping up on panels about central banking with hard questions about the handling of the crisis.
In recent papers, he blamed Mr. Greenspan’s Fed for causing the financial crisis with easy money policies earlier this decade. He has also blamed the Fed and Treasury for worsening the crisis with ad hoc responses. At the AEA meetings, he turned his critiques to the Fed’s balance sheet.
The Fed has launched nearly a dozen new programs in the past year to address the crisis. Its strategy is to target specific markets in distress — from commercial paper to asset backed securities to money market mutual funds and stresses overseas — with programs tailored to their problems. It also has gotten deeply involved in rescues of individual firms like Bear Stearns, American International Group and Citigroup.
The Fed has funded these programs by pumping reserves into the banking system — essentially creating new money. In the process, its balance sheet has ballooned from less than $900 billion to more than $2 trillion.
Most economists agree that when official short-term interest rates get near zero — as they have done in the U.S. — and the economy sinks, the Fed needs to take other measures to bolster the economy. Most notably, it needs to increase the quantity of money, or reserves, in the financial system, as the Fed has done.
Mr. Taylor is on board with that. But he takes exception to the magnitude of the move — a hundred-fold increase in reserves since September to more than $800 billion — and to how they’re being used to rescue specific markets and firms.
The Fed is creating money, he says, and picking winners and losers in the process, a combination of monetary policy and industrial policy that he called “mondustrial policy.”
“It’s not a monetary framework,” he said on a panel at the AEA meetings. “It’s an intervention framework financed by money creation.”
Mr. Taylor is a man who likes rules, and central bankers generally do too. He is the author of the influential “Taylor Rule,” a widely followed guideline for how much interest rates should move with changes in growth and inflation.
In fairness to the Fed, Mr. Taylor doesn’t lay out specific new rules for handling a very complex situation. Moreover, Fed officials argue that the path they’ve chosen is the best one in a difficult environment.
James Bullard and Charles Evans, presidents of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Chicago Fed, both noted that the Fed’s new programs have been tailored specifically to address the crisis and relieve market stresses and will eventually be unwound.
In a separate speech Sunday, San Francisco Fed president Janet Yellen said the approach was working, noting that spreads — which is the difference between official interest rates and other market rates — have narrowed in markets that the Fed has targeted for relief.
“The suite of programs that the Fed has already announced or put in place are an appropriate and creative response to alleviate strains from the ongoing credit crunch,” she said.
In a fascinating passage, she acknowledges the dilemmas created by the central bank’s novel approach:
“The Fed’s current ‘balance sheet approach’ to monetary policy creates an entirely new set of policy issues and challenges,” she says, continuing, “For example, the Fed normally eschews interventions that directly affect the allocation of credit … However, the new facilities do influence credit allocation because they must be targeted at particular sectors of the credit market. In effect, the Fed must judge where to intervene, deciding where market dysfunction is greatest and where adverse consequences for the overall economy are particularly severe. Furthermore, many of the interventions are novel, so no straightforward methods are available to quantify their effectiveness.
“There are also no clear guidelines for the Fed to gauge the appropriate size of its interventions and few precedents for the Fed to use in communicating its policy stance to the public beyond announcing new programs and describing their terms in detail. Although the purpose of most programs is to lower borrowing costs, the Fed must be careful to avoid the risks that could result from targeting some predetermined yield or spread. Finally, the Fed must ensure that it has an exit strategy to wind down the facilities in a timely and effective way when they are no longer needed. These challenges notwithstanding, I believe that the approaches I have described have considerable potential to contribute to a strong economic recovery.” – Jon Hilsenrath