L'impasse del quantitative easing

PITTSBURGH – In quasi tutti i periodi di ripresa che seguono una recessione si è registrata, almeno finora, una rapida crescita dell'occupazione. Sebbene le banche centrali dei Paesi avanzati abbiano perseguito una politica monetaria espansiva sulla scia della crisi economica globale nel tentativo di rilanciare la domanda, la creazione di posti di lavoro ha subito una battuta d'arresto. Di conseguenza, i lavoratori, sempre più convinti di non riuscire a trovare un impiego stabile, lasciano la forza lavoro in massa.

In nessun luogo questo fenomeno è più evidente che negli Stati Uniti, dove la Federal Reserve ha abbassato i tassi d'interesse a livelli senza precedenti e, attraverso il quantitative easing (QE), cioè l'allentamento quantitativo, ha incrementato le riserve bancarie mediante l'acquisto di asset finanziari. In tale contesto, l'inflazione - che una rapida espansione dell'offerta di moneta inevitabilmente alimenta - è rimasta contenuta, attestandosi intorno al 2%, e questo perché le banche non utilizzano le loro riserve incrementate per espandere il credito e aumentare la liquidità. Se da un lato ciò mantiene la volatilità dei prezzi sotto controllo, dall'altro ostacola la crescita dell'occupazione.

Anziché cambiare il proprio approccio, la Fed ha risposto al rallentamento della crescita dell'occupazione lanciando altri round di QE. Secondo la sua logica, se l'espansione delle riserve per oltre due trilioni non ha prodotto i risultati sperati, l'aggiunta di 85 miliardi di dollari in più al mese - un altro trilione quest'anno - potrebbe servire allo scopo.

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