Euro coins

Il Club dei Tassi Negativi

BRUXELLS – Per quasi un decennio, le banche centrali hanno fatto solo limitati passi avanti nel porre dei freni alle potenti forze deflazionistiche globali. Dal 2008, la Federal Reserve ha mantenuto tassi di interesse zero, pur perseguendo molteplici fasi di espansione di bilancio, senza precedenti, attraverso grandi acquisti di obbligazioni. La Banca d’Inghilterra, la Banca del Giappone, e la Banca Centrale Europea ne hanno seguito l’esempio, ciascuno con la propria versione del cosiddetto “quantitative easing” (QE). Eppure l’inflazione non è risalita in modo sensibile da nessuna parte.

Nonostante le lotte comuni contro le pressioni deflazionistiche, le politiche monetarie di questi paesi – e le loro performance economiche – sono oggi divergenti. Laddove gli Stati Uniti ed il Regno Unito oggi crescono con forza sufficiente ad uscire dalle loro politiche espansive ed incrementare i tassi di interesse, la zona euro ed il Giappone rilanciano il QE, spingendo la politica dei tassi di interesse a lungo termine ulteriormente in territorio negativo. Come si spiega questa differenza?

La risposta immediata è il debito. Gli Stati Uniti e il Regno Unito hanno accumulato disavanzi delle partite correnti per decenni, e sono quindi debitori, mentre la zona euro e il Giappone hanno registrato eccedenze verso l’estero, che li rende creditori. Poiché i tassi negativi avvantaggiano i debitori e danneggiano i creditori, la loro introduzione dopo la crisi economica globale ha stimolato una ripresa negli Stati Uniti e nel Regno Unito, ma sono stati poco efficaci nella zona euro e in Giappone.

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