09 outubro 2011

Política monetária: agora é com emoção

A análise do Financial Times diz, em suma, que a política monetária dos bancos centrais se tornou mais complexa porque o mundo da economia monetária mudou. 
Os fluxos globalizados de capital ampliaram as conexões do sistema financeiro e, com isso, também as vias de transmissão de riscos.
Tal é a razão da política monetária de alguns países (eles usam o Brasil e a Turquia como exemplos recentes) ter causado surpresa a muitos economistas.
Ela deixou de ser uma mesmice enfadonha e totalmente previsível.
No Brasil, alguns analistas, contrariados em suas "antecipações", parecem cachorro caído do caminhão de mudança.

Why Brazil and Turkey no longer care as much about inflation 

Luckily for this blog, monetary policy is no longer as “boring” as Sir Mervyn King would like.

Still, it remains predictable enough that economists are rarely surprised by decisions. Especially for those central banks that target a certain level of inflation. Recently, however, most have been getting it spectacularly wrong on some of the key emerging market votes, notably Turkey’s and Brazil’s rate cuts.

They might have called it right had they read this collection of papers, published by the Bank for International Settlements yesterday.

When the Central Bank of Turkey cut rates in August, economists were incredulous. With inflation way above target and credit growth rampant, a rate rise had looked far the more likely option. This from RBS’s Timothy Ash:

    The danger with this totally out-of-the-box move is that investors seriously begin to question the central bank’s credibility.

Brazilian inflation is also above their target. Yet, despite this, its central bank also cut rates – by half a percentage point in August – when economists had expected it to hold firm.

Should investors question their credibility? The case for Brazil’s cut was far stronger. But neither central bank is intent on abandoning their targets for inflation.

However, what the BIS papers, taken from its meeting in Basel of deputy governors from major EME central banks, show is that they are likely to interpret their inflation-fighting mandates far more loosely than before the crisis.

Why so? Lehman Brothers’ failure has brought home to emerging market central banks that economic and financial links between nations have become far stronger in recent decades. The idea held by many before 2008 that their economies could “de-couple” in the event of a severe slowdown in the advanced economies is no longer credible. Here’s one of the main conclusions of the meeting:

    Financial globalisation has multiplied the number of transmission channels and associated risks through which external factors influence domestic economic and financial conditions in emerging market economies. This complicates the assessment of the outlook for inflation and growth. It also introduces an additional dimension – the evaluation of financial stability risks – to the objectives of central banks. Monetary policy in emerging market economies has become much more complex as a result.

If that is the case, then emerging central banks will pay less attention to domestic price pressures, and attach more weight to what is happening in global financial markets, than in the past.

In times like these, then, they are more likely to cut rates than economists expect.

Meanwhile, in USA
Gavyn Davies: Ben Bernanke has been called "the most inflationary Fed chairman ever". That is just nonsense, as the NYT shows here.

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