البنوك المركزية وفكرة الاستقلال العتيقة

بوينس آيرس ــ أثارت الأزمة المالية العالمية أسئلة جوهرية حول صلاحيات البنوك المركزية. فقد ركزت أغلب البنوك المركزية على مدى العقود القليلة الماضية على استقرار الأسعار بوصفه هدفها الغالب الوحيد. وكان هذا التركيز سبباً في تعزيز سطوة "استهداف التضخم" باعتباره الإطار المفضل للسياسة النقدية، الأمر الذي أدى بالتالي إلى استقلال عمل البنوك المركزية. وكانت هذه السياسة ناجحة: فبفضل الانضباط الذي فرضه التركيز الصارم والدقيق على هدف أوحد، تمكن صانعو السياسات من السيطرة على التضخم ــ ثم قهره.

ولكن نتيجة لهذا النهج الضيق، تجاهل صناع السياسات نشوء فقاعات الأصول والأسعار، وتغاضوا عن حالة عدم الاستقرار الناجمة عن ذلك في القطاع المصرفي. وهذا في حد ذاته يدعو إلى إعادة النظر في فعالية استهداف التضخم في الإجمال. وعلاوة على ذلك، اضطرت البنوك المركزية بعد اندلاع الأزمة المالية إلى الابتعاد على نحو متزايد عن استهداف التضخم، وتنفيذ عدد لا يُحصى من السياسات النقدية غير التقليدية من أجل تخفيف العواقب الناجمة عن الانهيار وتيسير التعافي الاقتصادي.

ومع نضال الاقتصادات المتقدمة من أجل تجنب الانهيار المالي، والإفلات من الركود، وخفض مستويات البطالة، واستعادة النمو، تستدعى البنوك المركزية لمعالجة العديد من اختلالات التوازن المتنامية، وفي نفس الوقت أحيانا. وأدى هذا إلى البحث عن إعادة تعريف جذرية لأهداف البنوك المركزية ــ والإلقاء بظلال من الشك على مدى ملاءمة الحفاظ على استقلال البنوك المركزية.

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