I lemming del quantitative easing

NEW HAVEN – Come era prevedibile, anche la Banca centrale europea si è unita alle principali autorità monetarie nel più grande esperimento della storia delle banche centrali. Ormai lo schema è più che familiare. Le banche centrali riducono il tasso convenzionale fino al temuto “zero”, poi di fronte ad una protratta debolezza economica e con l’esaurimento di tutti gli strumenti convenzionali, abbracciano l’approccio non convenzionale del quantitative easing (QE).

La teoria che si nasconde dietro a questa strategia è semplice: nell’impossibilità di ridurre ulteriormente il prezzo del credito, si sposta l’attenzione sull’aumento della quantità del credito. L’argomentazione implicita è che lo spostamento dalle modifiche sul prezzo alla quantità è pari all’equivalente funzionale di un’ulteriore implementazione del quantitative easing. Si dice, infatti, che anche ad un tasso di interessi nominale pari a zero, le banche centrali continuino ad avere delle armi a disposizione nel proprio arsenale.

Ma questi strumenti sono realmente in grado di raggiungere l’obiettivo? Per la BCE e la Banca del Giappone, che hanno di fronte dei rischi significativi di perdita rispetto alle loro economie e al livello del prezzo aggregato, questa domanda è del tutto pertinente. Per gli Stati Uniti, dove le recenti conseguenze del quantitative easing devono ancora palesarsi, la risposta è altrettanto consequenziale.

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