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TÓQUIO – O que é que os bancos centrais devem fazer quando os políticos parecem incapazes de agir? Até agora, eles têm estado dispostos a preencher a lacuna, encontrando novas formas, e cada vez mais menos convencionais, para tentarem influenciar o rumo das economias com dificuldades. Mas como é que podemos determinar o momento em que os bancos centrais ultrapassam os seus limites? Quando é que a ousadia passa a ser imprudência?

Os bancos centrais podem desempenhar um papel importante num período de recessão. Os cortes nas taxas de juro podem aumentar os empréstimos – e, por conseguinte, aumentar os gastos em investimentos e no consumo. Os bancos centrais também podem desempenhar um papel quando os mercados financeiros congelam. Ao oferecerem de livre vontade empréstimos contragarantia, eles “dissolvem” os activos e impedem que os bancos sejam obrigados a libertarem empréstimos ou títulos a preços de saldo. Ao anteciparem esse seguro de liquidez, os bancos podem fazer empréstimos ilíquidos a longo prazo ou deter outros activos financeiros ilíquidos.

Dado o alcance que a política monetária pouco convencional - incluindo várias formas de flexibilização quantitativa, bem como proclamações sobre o prolongamento das taxas de juro baixas - desempenha com estes papéis, isso pode justificar-se.

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