mandag den 16. august 2010

O'Driscoll advarer mod kvantitativ lettelse af pengepolitikken og skattestigninger i USA

Senior fellow Gerald P. O'Driscoll jr. advarer mod lempelig pengepolitik i WSJ (16/8). Faldet i efterspørgslen skyldes ikke en keynesiansk fald i den generelle efterspørgsel, men en hayekiansk boble i aktiver (boligboblen). Med faldende aktivpriser har investorer, virksomheder og forbrugere behov for at reducere forbruget og øge opsparingen, skriver O'Driscoll. Den lempelige pengepolitik virker modsat og risikere at resultere i nye bobler.

O'Driscoll konkluderer:

"Its move toward Japan-style quantitative easing is a misstep. And historically low interest rates—about which the Bank of International Settlements, the bank for central banks, sounded a warning in its 2009/2010 annual report—will inevitably distort economic activity, as they did during the housing boom. Low interest rates slow the process of restoring balance sheets by keeping asset prices artificially inflated. They also penalize saving, thus prolonging the process of rebuilding balance sheets.
In the fiscal realm, policy must be reoriented from stimulating consumption to encouraging productive investment (not renewed financial speculation). That means no income-tax increases or costly new mandates. In particular, the Bush tax cuts should not be allowed to expire. No matter how the administration spins it, their expiration would entail a large increase in marginal tax rates in the midst of economic weakness. That would further impede savings and capital accumulation, discouraging firms from expanding and hiring workers. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is proposing to repeat the mistake of Herbert Hoover, who persuaded Congress to raise taxes in 1932.
Markets are resilient, but their recovery can be impeded by bad policies. At present, both monetary and fiscal policies are on the wrong track".

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