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Bespeelt de Fed de politiek?

CAMBRIDGE – In het recente debat met tegenstander Hillary Clinton onderstreepte de Republikeinse presidentskandidaat Donald Trump nog eens zijn bewering dat de voorzitter van de Federal Reserve van de VS Janet Yellen politiek gemotiveerd is. Volgens Trump dient de Fed een overdosis aan monetaire stimuli toe om de stemmer zo te hypnotiseren dat deze gelooft dat het economisch herstel in gang is gezet.

Dit is geen totaal krankzinnig idee, maar ik zie het gewoon niet. Als Yellen zo vastbesloten is om de rentetarieven in de diepvries te laten, waarom heeft ze dan afgelopen maanden geprobeerd om de langetermijntarieven de hoogte in te praten, door te benadrukken dat de Fed de tarieven waarschijnlijk sneller op gaat voeren dan de markt momenteel denkt?

We weten dat centrale bankiers een geschiedenis kennen van hulp aan zittende verkiezingskandidaten, door de inflatie te laten toenemen en de werkgelegenheid groeiende te houden. Tijdens de herverkiezingscampagne van president van de VS Richard Nixon in 1972, sprak deze voorzitter van de Fed Arthur Burns streng toe over de noodzaak de economie op te pompen om hem te helpen zijn democratische uitdager George McGovern te verslaan. Nixon won overtuigend, maar het beleid van Burns was begin van de wereldwijde inflatie van de jaren zeventig en had het ineenstorten van het post-WO2 systeem van vaste wisselkoersen tot gevolg. De langetermijneffecten waren catastrofaal.

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