Paul Lachine

Come risvegliare un matrimonio politico

WASHINGTON, DC – Fino a poco tempo fa andava di moda la separazione tra supervisione finanziaria e politica monetaria. Alcuni paesi, come il Regno Unito e l’Australia, arrivarono fino al punto di frazionare tali funzioni, assegnando ad agenzie specializzate la responsabilità della stabilità finanziaria e svincolando completamente le proprie banche centrali dagli oneri della vigilanza finanziaria. Dopo la crisi finanziaria globale, tuttavia, la supervisione finanziaria e la gestione macroeconomica sono tornate vivere sotto lo stesso tetto.

Tale riavvicinamento scaturisce dalla crescente importanza che ora rivestono le cosiddette sequenze di boom e bust relative ai prezzi degli asset sia per la gestione macroeconomica che per la supervisione finanziaria. Prima della crisi, tali sequenze venivano da molti considerate fondamentalmente innocue o, tutt’al più, un canale di politica monetaria alquanto insignificante. Pur notando la frequente comparsa di bolle finanziarie, in molti hanno creduto che gli sforzi impegnati per rilevarle e ridimensionarle in una fase iniziale sarebbero stati inutili, e potenzialmente dannosi. I tagli sui tassi di interesse applicati dopo lo scoppio delle bolle avrebbero rappresentato un metodo più sicuro per salvaguardare l’economia.

Il programma politico dominante si esplicava all’incirca nel seguente modo: le autorità monetarie attuavano strategie di inflation targeting e fissavano i tassi di interesse; ciò doveva bastare a mantenere la stabilità dei prezzi e la crescita economica attorno ad un tasso potenziale. Per quanto riguarda la supervisione finanziaria, la stabilità veniva garantita nella misura in cui le singole istituzioni finanziarie adottavano solide regole prudenziali in grado di preservare i cuscinetti (o “buffer”) di capitale in proporzione alla loro esposizione al rischio. Mentre le banche centrali dovevano farsi carico di mantenere adeguati livelli di liquidità nel sistema, la vigilanza finanziaria detta “microprudenziale” doveva occuparsi autonomamente della solidità delle istituzioni finanziarie e di tutelare i depositanti.

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