Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2011

Die "Schöne Neue Welt" der Geldpolitik

Das sage noch einer, FED-Direktoren hätten keinen Sinn für Humor. Montag hielt mein Lieblings-FED-Direktor Richard Fisher (Dallas-FED) eine launige Rede, in der er Frédéric Bastiat zitierte und lobte:

"The Dodd–Frank law entails the writing of more than 200 proposals and rules covering a host of issues―risk-based capital requirements, ability-to-pay requirements for home mortgages, protections for consumers sending remittances to foreign countries and so on. The Congress decided the need for these rules to be written, drawing on the input of many, including some very thoughtful economists. Here, I think it wise to draw upon the insight of the classical liberal Frédéric Bastiat in his take on unintended consequences. Bastiat opined, “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”[14] The same might be said of regulators. As regulators grapple with implementation of the voluminous Dodd–Frank reform act, the unforeseen must be taken into account. The law of unintended consequences is always lurking in the shadows. To get regulatory reform right, we have a lot of “foreseeing” to do."

Nun verlinkt Big Picture einen Vortrag, den ein gewisser Herr John Williams (nein, nicht der von Shadowstats) von der San Francisco FED vor einer Vereinigung von Hochschul- und Gymnasiallehrern gehalten hat und wo er über das Problem referiert, daß die Realität der FED-Politik die Schulbücher längst hinter sich gelassen hat. Schon der Titel ist herrlich (der Mann kennt sicherlich Aldous Huxley):

"Economics Instruction and the Brave New World of Monetary Policy"

Ein paar Highlights:

"As I know from personal experience, teaching about monetary policy today can be especially challenging when actual events overtake textbooks and lesson plans. In early 2008, I taught macroeconomics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. At the time, the Fed was creating new programs and new tools to deal with the burgeoning financial crisis. The textbook descriptions of the traditional monetary policy tools of reserve requirements, open market operations, and the discount window missed much of what was happening in the real world. I took away an appreciation of how difficult it was to keep my lectures up-to-date with rapidly evolving events. Let me give you an idea of how much things have changed. Today the Board of Governors website lists 12 monetary policy tools. Nine of them didn’t exist four years ago. The good news is that six of those tools are no longer in existence, reflecting the improvement in financial conditions".

"When I was an undergraduate at Berkeley in the early 1980s, much of the monetary economics that I learned was based on theories from the 1950s or even earlier. These included the quantity theory of money, Keynes’s LM curve, Milton Friedman’s monetarism, and the Baumol-Tobin theory of money demand, to name a few examples. Now, there’s no question that Keynes, Friedman, and Tobin were among the greatest monetary theorists of all time. Their theories are elegant statements of fundamental economic principles. As such, they deserve to be taught for a long time to come. But viewing them as definitive in today’s world is like thinking that rock and roll stopped with Elvis Presley. The evolution of money and banking since the 1950s is at least as dramatic as what’s happened with popular music—not that I want to compare the Fed with Lady Gaga. The theories of that era need to be adapted to the brave new world in which we now live".

"How do 1950s theories of cash and checks apply in a world in which you and I can instantly take out a loan of several thousand dollars with the swipe of a card at the cash register? When Milton Friedman first advocated slow and stable growth of the money supply, he didn’t write a word about credit cards, checkable brokerage accounts, or checkable home equity loan accounts. In the 1950s, these innovations hadn’t been invented or existed only in the most rudimentary form."

Der Rest ist weniger "launig", aber höchst lesenswert und trägt zum Verständnis der monetären Realität viel bei!

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