Ripensare le politiche macroeconomiche: evoluzione o rivoluzione?

Olivier Blanchard, Lawrence H. Summers


L’ovvia lezione della Grande crisi finanziaria è che il sistema finanziario conta e che altre crisi finanziarie probabilmente si verificheranno di nuovo. La seconda lezione, più generale, è che spesso l’economia non è in grado di auto-stabilizzarsi. Queste due lezioni, in un contesto in cui i tassi d’interesse “neutrali” dovrebbero rimanere bassi, hanno chiare implicazioni per la progettazione delle politiche di stabilizzazione. Come minimo, esse suggeriscono che le politiche potrebbero dover diventare più aggressive, sia ex ante che ex post, con un ribilanciamento di ruoli tra politiche monetarie, fiscali e finanziarie. In particolare, bassi tassi “neutrali” riducono i margini d’azione della politica monetaria, ma aumentano la possibilità di utilizzo della politica fiscale. Pensiamo a tale ribilanciamento come una evoluzione. Se tuttavia, i tassi “neutrali” diventeranno ancor più bassi o la regolamentazione finanziaria risulterà insufficiente per prevenire le crisi, potranno rendersi necessarie misure ancor più drastiche, inclusi più ampi disavanzi di bilancio, revisioni degli obiettivi di politica monetaria o restrizioni più severe sul sistema finanziario. Pensiamo a tutto questo come una rivoluzione. Il tempo ci dirà.

The obvious lesson from the Great Financial Crisis is that the financial system matters and financial crises will probably happen again. The second, more general, lesson is that the economy is often not self-stabilizing. These two lessons, together with an environment where “neutral” interest rates are likely to remain low, have clear implications for the design of stabilization policies. At a minimum, they suggest that policies may need to become more aggressive, both ex-ante and ex-post, with a rebalancing of the roles of monetary, fiscal and financial policies. In particular, while low “neutral” rates decrease the scope for using monetary policy, they increase the scope for using fiscal policy. Think of such rebalancing as evolution. If however, “neutral” rates become even lower, or financial regulation turns out to be insufficient to prevent crises, more dramatic measures, including larger fiscal deficits, revised monetary policy targets, or sharper restrictions on the financial system, may be needed. Think of this as revolution. Time will tell.

JEL codes: E02, E20, E31, E32, E42, E5, E62

Parole chiave

monetary, fiscal and financial policies; macroeconomic stabilization; evolution or revolution of economic policy

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