De bekendheid van centrale bankiers

CAMBRIDGE – Waarom krijgen de commentaren van de centrale bankiers van grote economieën tegenwoordig zoveel aandacht? Het is niet zo dat ze constant de rentetarieven veranderen. Ook hebben ze geen nieuwe, robuustere modellen ontwikkeld om de economie te analyseren. In tegendeel: de voorspellingen van de grote centrale banken over groei en inflatie hebben sinds de financiële crisis consequent zowel de groei als inflatie overschat, en met grote marges.

Er zijn veel goede redenen voor de aandacht die wordt uitgestort over monetaire beleidsmakers, waaronder de opkomst van onafhankelijke centrale banken, de publieke acceptatie van de noodzaak om zeer competente technocraten te benoemen die de geldvoorziening overzien, en de verdieping van de financiële markten. En veel centrale bankiers zijn terecht geprezen voor hun rol in het voorkomen van een mondiale meltdown tijdens de financiële crisis.

Toch vinden veel academici gegeven de talloze onzekerheden omtrent macro-economische vooruitzichten en de effecten van beleidsinstrumenten (niet in het minst van kwantitatieve versoepeling) het raadselachtig dat de speeches en verklaringen van centrale bankiers zoveel heisa genereren. En ondanks al hun heroïek tijdens de financiële crisis zijn veel centrale bankiers in de nasleep ervan veel te inflexibel geweest en maakten ze zich teveel zorgen om inflatiedoelen niet te halen en te weinig over deflatoire dynamieken. Bovendien hebben centrale bankiers in beginsel deels schuld aan de crisis, vooral door een laks regelgevend beleid.

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