Deflace a demokracie

PRINCETON – Dějiny finančnictví jsou zčásti historií zápasu za stabilní, bezpečný způsob určování hodnoty. A takové úsilí, jako každý jiný hon za jistotou v našem nepředvídatelném světě, bylo odsouzeno k nezdaru. Poslední finanční krize tuto zranitelnost důrazně podtrhuje, neboť zcela ničí dojem, že aktivům dokážeme přiřadit přesné ceny. Většina lidí je dnes přesvědčena, že tento nedostatek je neodmyslitelným rysem finanční soustavy. Leč nejistoty ohledně hodnoty odhalují také vážné problémy v politickém řádu.

V minulosti zajišťovaly nepraktické a neuspokojivé řešení hodnotové otázky kovové peníze. Nevýhodné byly proto, že zlato bylo těžko použitelné pro každodenní transakce a stříbro zase mělo příliš nízkou hodnotu pro větší převody.

Kovové peníze navíc byly náchylné k nepředvídatelným změnám hodnoty, jakmile byly objeveny nové zásoby. Dovoz stříbra z Nového světa v šestnáctém století vyvolal setrvalou inflaci. Objev zlata v Kalifornii v polovině devatenáctého století a o 50 let později na Aljašce, v Jižní Africe a v Austrálii rovněž způsobil mírnou inflaci, kdežto absence takových nových objevů v 70. a 80. letech 19. století vedla k mírné deflaci.

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