Category : ngdp

Kamatni kanal ubija nezavisnost ECB-a

Upravo gledam video bivšeg šefa ECB-a J.C.Tricheta koji od prije 2 godine. Iako Trichet hvali ECB-ov uspjeh u ispunjavanju mandata stabilnosti cijena u kontekstu periodičnog odbijanja pojedinih vlada koje su ponekad tražile promjenu u politici kamatnih stopa ECB-a (a Trichet podsjeća da su to bila core zemlje) – ECB ipak nije toliko nezavisna koliko se čini. Smatram da je monetarna politika provođena pravilima zapisanim u nekoj formi monetarnog ustava ultimativni oblik nezavisnosti, koji uključuje i demokratsku odgovornost. Nezavisne središnje banke, u obliku kakvom ih poznajemo, su bitan faktor današnjeg stanja. Bez pravila, kako vidimo imamo već 5 godina diskrecije i neizvjesnosti. Kad pogledamo stvari iz trichetove perspektive, jasno nam je zašto se ECB smatra uspješnom – moćni političari su tražili smanjenje kamatne stope npr. 2004 godine, a ECB je rekao “ne”, jer je ipak mandat stabilnost cijena. No kreditistički pogled na monetarnu politiku, koji se uporno provlači kroz literaturu i medije, neće nikako da nestane. To je onaj pogled da monetarna politika primarno vodi politiku putem kamatne stope, utječući na troškove banaka koje onda gospodarstvu kroz cijenu kredita determiniraju budući razvoj potražnje. Kreditistički pogled je zapravo Bernankeova, već legendarna priča s početka 80ih , gdje je pokazao da je razvoj kredita u gospodarstvu bitniji za provođenje monetarne politike u kontekstu upravljanja potražnjom. Neću ulaziti gdje su problemi takvog pristupa, no jasno je zašto kamatni kanal monetarne transmisije postaje važniji, pa kao takav čini osnovu okvira ECB-a.

U jednom od prethodnih postova sam pokazao kako je ECB bio fokusiran na prekonoćno tržište (uz intervencije u Covered Bond tržišta za financiranje banaka- tzv CBPP, kao i SMP – Securities Market Programe čiji je cilj bio utjecanje na dugoročniji dio krivulje prinosa za PIIGS zemlje) dok je sve ostalo tonulo.
Prvo je fokus bio na banke zbog krize koja se dogodila uslijed pada NGDP-a. ECB je pružila likvidnost bankama (operacije refinanciranja, CBPP) dok su derutne bilance spašavali porezni obveznici. Time je smiren problem u kraćem kutu krivulje prinosa.

No rizik je onda prešao na države (gornja slika) tako da je trebalo spašavati dulji dio krivulje prinosa (SMP, 2 LTRO-a, SMP2, OMT). Sada Draghi priča o intervenciji u ABS tržišta (Asset Backed Securities) kako bi oživio kreditiranje SME-a. 

To su sve intervencije u pojedinačna tržišta koja odgovaraju kreditističkoj “strategiji” – kako ECB primjeti problem, tako i intervenira. To je izrazito loša politika – prvo jer je više-manje beskorisna za opću sliku makro-stanja, a drugo, zbog činjenice da se ECB petlja u kreditnu alokaciju. Već sam spominjao da to nije posao središnjih banaka. Ponavljam monetarna politika ne djeluje kroz kamatni kanal, takav pogled je možda opravdan u “dobrim” vremenima, no središnja banka kao monopolist u kreiranju novca mora zadovoljiti potražnju za novcem, a ne vršiti kirurške zahvate u pojedina tržišta.

Nedavno sam čitao odličan rad Roberta Hetzela gdje mi je za oko pao sljedeći citat

If the problem has not been financial market dysfunction but rather has been misalignment between the real funds rate and the natural rate, then intervention in credit markets will only increase intermediation in the subsidized markets. Those subsidies will not reduce aggregate risk to the point that the overall cost of funds falls enough to stimulate investment by businesses and consumers. Government intervention in credit markets is, then, not a reliable tool for the management of aggregate demand because such interventions do little to reduce the public’s uncertainty and pessimism about the future that have depressed the natural rate.

Tj. petljanje će povećati intermedijaciju u subvencioniranim tržištima, no ne rješava se problem agregatnog rizika koji pritišće prirodnu stopu. Ponekad će petljanje u ta tržišta samo odgađati čišćenje istih. To je razlog zašto se zalažem za neutralni monetaristički pristup.

No osim problema alokativnih ishoda…gdje tu ECB zapravo gubi svoju nezavisnost?
Prilično je jednostavno, ECB je kroz proces stvaranja operativnog okvira kroz koji djeluje, a koji naglašava kamatni kanal i operacije koje ciljaju primarno banke, izgubio nezavisnost. Kroz kamatni kanal se pokušava manipulirati krivuljom prinosa, od najkraće prekonoćne stope na interbank tržištu, do dugoročnih stopa. Te dugoročne stope su obično prinosi na državne 10-godišnje obveznice koje služe kao indikator risk-free stope. Već znamo da Maastrichtski kriteriji traže konvergenciju kamatnih stopa kako bi se odluke ECB-a uniformirano prenosile na cijelu eurozonu. Osobno ne mislim da je to bitan faktor za funkcioniranje zajedničke monetarne politike, ali takav setup je uvjetovao i nestanak nezavisnosti ECB-a. U situaciji kada kamatne stope divergiraju ECB se fokusira na svoj transmisijski mehanizam umjesto da radi svoj posao i osigurava nominalnu stabilnost. 


Ako pada NGDP i zaposlenost, kamatna stopa ne prati prirodnu stopu, kako bi rekao Hetzel, a to više nema veze s kreditima i pitanjem u kojim tržištima je povećan rizik.

ECB efektivno ovisi o državama kako bi uopće provodila svoju monetarnu politiku preko kamatnog kanala. Kamatni kanal čini ECB jako ovisnom o rizicima koje donosi loše upravljanje javnim dugom, stanje na tržištu rada, porezne politike, održivost države “blagostanja”, stanje zaštite privatnog vlasništva, stanje državnih poduzeća itd.. S druge strane takav pogled ECB-a je, kako vidimo na shemi gore, zapravo uvjetovao da ECB efektivno reže granu na kojoj stoji i sama potkopava svoju nezavisnost. Očito je da onda ostaje samo suradnja sa državama, što je evidentno i u načinu implementacije OMT programa koji je politički uvjetovan – strukturnim reformama, “štednjom” itd. itd. ECB može kiss nezavisnost goodbye!

Kvalitetniji, neutralniji i efikasniji pristup bi bio intervencija kupnji na otvorenom tržištu, kako je Lars Christensen predložio, određene količine GDP-ponderiranih kratkoročnih državnih papira dok se ne postigne cilj. Pogledajte i Larsov osvrt na Friedmanove prijedloge za Japan u kontekstu eurozone. Kupnje na otvorenom tržištu mogu doseći više subjekata, nisu fokusirane na banke ali ih ne isključuju. Ne oslanjaju se na bankovnu ulogu kreiranja likvidnosti nego djeluju na cash bilance svih sudionika koji su spremni trgovati sa središnjom bankom. Nažalost ECB se više brine oko zadržavanja svog operativnog okvira od osiguravanja nominalne stabilnosti.


UPDATE: Ryan Avent na Economistu prepoznaje problem s transmisijskim mehanizmom i predlaže rješenje. Iz gore navedenih razloga sam skeptičan.

PS. Marcus Nunes ima zanimljiv prikaz stanja NGDP-a u Francuskoj. Pokazuje efekt podizanja kamatne stope od strane ECB-a 2011. Ne prikazuje Draghijeve akcije. Evo moj komentar, ostatak pratite na njegovom blogu:

What do you think, why wasn’t Draghi’s reversal of rate hike and LTRO-s enough to bring back the NGDP to the previous (post-crisis) path? Why didn’t Draghis appointment (the fact that Trichet was leaving)  have a positive effect? My guess… its German stance on the matter. In Japan they knew Abe was going to shake things up so Shirakawas earlier resigning did good to the markets. But im still puzzled, ECB doesnt actually need German backing, it wouldn’t be the first time Weidmann stood alone in the council. ECB isnt independent at all. 
PS. Evo i Scott Sumner probija  U kontekstu ovog posta, tj pitanja djelovanja središnje banke kroz determiniranja graničnog troška likvidnosti banaka (kamatni kanal) stvar je vrlo jednostavna:
There is no need to look for wacky UK-style proposals* to stimulate bank lending–that’s what got us into this mess in the first place. They need to do monetary stimulus, WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BANK LENDING.
*Priča o ideju o kupovanju ABS-ova
Read More

Kako pomiriti austrijance i market monetariste?

Evo nekoliko (desetaka) redaka random teoretiziranja, nadam se da ćete moći pratiti…

Kako pomiriti austrijance i tržišne monetariste? Dok o austrijancima i Hayek-Mises teoriji ciklusa ne znam previše, market monetarizam mi je postao osnovni framework kroz koji gledam na ekonomiju. Smatram da, dok monetarna politika ne radi stvari kako treba, ni najbolje strukturne politike ne moraju polučiti ocekivane rezultate. O Austrijskoj teoriji znam više manje ono što i svi znaju: središnja banka manipulirajući kamatnom stopom kreira boom faze kada kamatna stopa preniska u odnosu na prirodnu stopu inducira promjenu strukture proizvodnje (A->B) jer poduzetnici primaju krive signale o budućoj potrošnji današnjih štediša i investiraju u “bliže” stupnjeve (kapitalna dobra). Eventualno središnja banka pritisnuta inflacijom koju je proizvela podiže kamatnu stopu, otkriva se misalokacija resursa i dolazi do recesije jer struktura proizvodnje ne odgovara željama potrošača.

Rezulat misalokacije je  recesija. Sada se struktura proizvodnje treba reorganizirati da bi se vratila u A (ili gdje već potrošači žele).

Market monetaristi, ukratko, smatraju da recesija može biti rezultat realnog šoka, no da duboke krize u kojima pada NGDP moraju biti uzrokovane od središnje banke s obzirom da je središnja banka ta koja ima moć nad potražnjom, što slijedi iz jednadžbe razmjene (MV=PY). Krize nastaju i kao rezultat realnog šoka gdje se središnja banka nije odgovorila na povećanu potražnju za novcem kako bi stabilizirala NGDP. 
Selginov productivity norm se temelji na Hayekovom pogledu na monetarnu stabilnost. Nije mi baš bila jasna njegova pozicija, ali kolega sa bloga Economic Thought je potvrdio moje sumnje. Hayek je smatrao da je stabilan MV neutralna monetarna politika. Iz toga izvire i stabilan NGDP (rast = 0) a Selginov productivity norm predstavlja upravo takvu ideju gdje je ekonomija u stanju deflacije inducirane od strane rastuće produktivnosti. Kada gledamo kroz tu prizmu, jasno je zašto free bankeri više-manje prihvaćaju NGDPLT, posebno kao put prema izbacivanju države iz posla sa novcem.

U principu, fail središnje banke može biti i market monetaristički i austrijski. Prvo središnja banka prevelikom ekspanzijom dopusti misalokaciju resursa, a onda, najvjerojatnije zbog lošeg monetanrog režima ne uspijeva ostvariti monetarnu stabilnost i produbljuje recesiju.

Slična je i trenutna, produžena kriza u kojoj se nalazimo, doduše ne bi se u potpunosti složio s austrijancima u dijagnozi izvora realnog šoka (subprime krize), dok, kako se vidi prema mojim prijašnjim pisanjima, zastupam stav da je Fed/Bernanke svojim (ne)akcijama u ljeto 2008. krizi (recesiji) dodao naziv “Velika”. Primjer u nastavku upravo zbog neslaganja s austrijancima smatrajte fiktivnim, tj zamislite da ABCT točno objašnjava “boom” fazu.

Interplay ova dva faktora možete promatrati kao točke, b (austrijski fail CB-a) i  c (MM fail CB-a). U prvom slučaju, središnja banka je sama proizvela realni šok, a u drugoj daljnji pad potražnje. Točka a je točka stabilnog MV-a (NGDP-a) – tj stabilne nominalne potražnje.
Nekako, kod “općenite interpretacije” ABCT vidim problem na mikro nivou. Ne tvrdim da je interpretacija točna već da je ovo nekakav konsenzus u javnosti, svi komentari koji će ispraviti i poboljšati viđenje ovoga su dobrodošli. 
U čemu je poanta? Pa jednostavno ne vidim zašto potražnja mora trajno pasti? Tj ako trenutnu situaciju smatramo kao potvrdu ABCT, zašto potražnja mora biti na c, a ne na manjoj razini b. Odnosno, po čemu je ova recesija različita u magnitudi? Priznajem određeni pad potražnje koji je rezultat frikcijske nezaposlenosti resursa s čime dolazi i do pada produktivnosti. Kad bi se pratilo Hayekovo MV pravilo, to bi značilo tranzitoran pad potražnje i njeno vraćanje na prethodnu razinu (s b/c na a). Tj. ako nema potražnje kako će doći do realokacije? Kada postoji potražnja onda se može formirati cijena. Cijena je signal za realokaciju. U tom smislu pokušavam naglasiti moje viđenje – nije stvar u agregatnom povećanju (i povećanju količine koja se potražuje) već u distorzijama relativnih cijena koje se mogu događati pri overshootingu – širenju monetarne baze i kredita više od, bilo to productivity norm, ili nekog NGDPLT (neutralnog) pravila.
Na neki način u ovoj rečenici to implicira i Steve Horowiz:

But it says nothing about which projects will be undertaken in which markets and which costs (other than perhaps the loan rate) will rise, and it tells us nothing about the timing of those events.  We know it has to happen, but the where and when are unique, not typical, features of business cycles.

Once the turning point is reached, ABCT tells us little to nothing about how the bust will play out.  Yes, we know that further inflation and interventionist attempts to prevent the necessary reallocation of resources will make matters worse, but the theory by itself doesn’t tell us a priori how this will play out in any given historical circumstance.  The ABCT is not a theory of the causes of the length and depth of recessions/depressions, but a theory of the unsustainable boom.

Već sam napomenuo da zbog nekakve kratkoročne nezaposlenosti u alokaciji može doć do pada potražnje, jednako kao zaposlenosti zbog sticky wages problema. Ovdje ću se radi jednostavnosti pridružiti  austrijancima i praviti da to nije problem. 
Austrijanci obično ne govore što bi središnja banka trebala raditi kada dođe do bust-a. Ako je cilj da MV bude stabilan, a smanjenjem rasta M-a (rast kamate i pad profitabilnosti), se otkriva misalokaciju i tako inducira točku infleksije u ciklusu, sada bi trebalo držati MV rast na 0 (slušamo Hayeka). Stabilan MV je neutralna monetarna politika koja ne remeti relativne cijene a osigurava i stabilnu nominalnu potražnju.


Sva potražnja nije ista, tu se slažem sa postom koji me naveo na ovo teoretiziranje, pogledajte ovdje. Keynesijanci naglašavaju obično već spomenutu količinu potražnje (u smislu neiskorištenih kapaciteta). Upravo neiskorišteni kapaciteti možda predstavljaju onaj dio potrošačkih preferencija koje ne odgovaraju strukturi proizvodnje – stoga nije pitanje u količini (povećati potražnju za dobrima i uslugama iz sektora koji se napuštaju) već u potražnji koja će posložiti novu strukturu proizvodnje. Tu je važnost monetarne neutralnosti – osiguranje da monetarna politika, nakon što je poremetila relativne cijene (ako pretpostavimo da fiktivni boom koji ovdje koristim je rezultat već opisanog procesa prevelike monetarne ekspanzije), u epizodi busta osigurava potražnju bez distorzije relativnih cijena. Tada će cijene manje potraživanih dobara padati, cijene potraživanih rasti te će rekalkulacija poduzetnika biti pravilno koordinirana i po strukturi i po obujmu (jer potražnja neće doživjeti drastični pad). Kada dođe do pada potražnje zbog monetarnog stezanja rekalkulacija se odvija bitno sporije jer dolazi do težeg pomicanja relativnih cijena i kretanja prema optimalnom outputu.

U recesiji raste potražnja za novcem, a to više nema veze s “boomovskim”  izvorom poremećaja, vec sa zadatkom središnje banke da  radi svoj posao i osigurava monetarnu neutralnost držeći MV konstantnim. Ako je Hayek smatrao da stabilan MV predstavlja monetarnu neutralnost, onda u  situaciji busta, kada poraste potražnja za novcem (pada V) – monetarna vlast mora povećati rast M-a. 

Zadatak središnje banke je da zadovoljiti potražnju za novcem. Kao što sam napomenuo, u recesiji raste preferencija držanja novca. Ne zaboravite – držati novac nije jednako potrošiti novac. Središnja banka mora zadovoljiti potražnju. To nije ništa neobično. George Selgin dokumentira jednaku reakcijsku funkciju iz vremena dok je izdavanje novca i dalje bilo privatno. Savezne države sa manje regulacija i privatno izdavanim novcem su imale veću moć ispunjavanja potražnje za držanjem novca s čime su rješavale problem monetarne nestabilnost, kao i pitanje “iskrenog” novca.
As a result, the extent of bankruptcies and other economic destruction that occurred during the panics was greatly reduced. In contrast, government regulations, besides causing the crises in the first place, only got in the way of free-market emergency measures. Although often sincere, many early reformers of the monetary system simply failed to recognize restrictions on note issue as the fundamental cause of the banking crises. Observing the scarcity of credit and the numerous bank failures, they concluded that banks had been negligent in holding reserves. Thus, bank-note inelasticity was misinterpreted as inelasticity in the supply of reserves. The result was widespread agitation for augmentation of the reserve base.  

Selgin pokazuje kako su u free banking sustavu banke suočene s povećanom potražnjom  tržišta za novcem povećavale ponudu i kroz kompetitivni privatni okvir stvarale stabilan monetarni sustav. To je i ideja iza market monetarizma – slušanje i interakcija središnje banke sa tržištima. Preporučam da pročitate taj kratki tekst, ima i zanimljiv dio o Friedmanovim prijedlozima mogućih rješenja. Posebno obratite na probleme nastale nakon National Banking Act-a i naravno one nastale kreiranjem Fed-a.

Čini mi se da se mnogi austrijanci protive ekspanziji baze u fazi busta. Doduše ima i više verzija ABCT teorije pa moram biti oprezan, jer mnogi rijetko deklariraju koja su “struja”. Mislim da ovo što tu predstavljam nikako nije Rothbardova struja. Držimo se zasad stabilnosti MV-a i činjenice da prevelik overshooting zbog rasta M-a inducira misalokaciju resusrsa kakvu spominju austrijanci. Dalje, zamislimo da smo u fazi bust-a i da je cilj iz njega izaći što prije.


Želim reći da ako središnja banka ne učini svoj posao, imamo dvostruki problem. Jedan je da se mora dogoditi rekalkulacija u realnom sektoru kako bi se proizvodnja prilagodila zahtjevima potrošača. Drugi je da monetarna vlast u takvoj situaciji, puštajući M da pada, dok pada i V remeti monetarnu stabilnost i remeti relativne cijene (jednako tako je mogla previše reagirati na pa opet overshoot-ati). Tada se događa svojevrsni feedback loop između realne i nominalne sfere. Rekalkulacija ne ide bez stabilnog nominalnog okoliša koji uvjetuje stabilnu potražnju i neuplitanje u relativne cijene. Situacija se pogoršava i dolazi do svojevrsne međusobno pojačavajuće veze deflacije i recesije. Zbog ovoga kao i zbog zdravog razvoja u sferi supply strane, bitno je osigurati monetarnu stabilnost, kako sam naglasio, u obujmu i strukturi.

Tu je veza sa market monetarizmom. Jasno je da je stabilni MV sličan koncept kao i NGDP targeting. 

Pogledajmo jednađbu razmjene: MV=PY, PY je NGDP. 

Pretvorimo to u stope rasta
m+v = p+y

– Prema Hayeku m+v=0.
To znači da je p+y=0, a pošto ekonomija (y) raste, to implicira konstantnu deflaciju (-p) koja odgovara rastu produktivnosti.

– Postoji i stav koji zastupa Bill Woolsey, koji smatra da bi
m+v = x, a
x = y
tj, p=0, monetarna inflacija je nepoželjna. Taj stav je više manje varijacija

– Konvencionalnog NGDP level targetinga, koji obično podrazumjeva
m+v =2+x
inflacija p=2 (ili bilo koja razina koja se smatra da je niska inflacija), a
y=x, a x je potencijalna stopa rasta outputa (jednako kao kod Woolsey-a).

+ Cilja se nivo, a ne stopa rasta, što znači da monetarna politika mora nadoknaditi prošle greške. Woolsey također preferira ciljanje nivoa (level target).

Vratimo se na našu priču. Nakon što je monetarna politika kreirala realni šok, sada ga mora ispraviti.  Zamislimo da ona kao odgovor na krizu preuzme NGDPLT. Offseta rast u potraznji novcem (pad V-a) rastom baze i potražnju vrati na potencijalnu (a). 
Proces prilagodbe supply strane još traje, pa mozemo očekivati veću inflaciju (rast indeksa cijena) jer produktivnost pada zbog neproduktivnosti misalociranog kapitala (mozda je produktivan, ali ga nitko ne potražuje pa mu je prozivod po satu 0 kao i nezaposlenima koji se trebaju alocirati u drugu djelatnost). Kao što sam gore, napisao, svako gledanje na potražnju nije isto. Austrijanci često kažu da je ponovno “inflacioniranje” – povećanje baze  -“propping the bubble”. Kada se povećanje baze sretne sa padom V-a, to je monetarna politika koja radi svoj posao, provodi se prema pravilu (NGDPLT) i stvaranjem stabilnog i neutralnog okvira olaksava rekalkulaciju. U većini slučajeva to prepoznaju i tržišta te povećanje baze nije potrebno u pretpostavljenom obujmu. Naravno, tu ostaje pitanje jesu li tržišta efikasna pri alokaciji u neutralnom monetarnom okruženju. Sigurno će se i market monetaristi i austrijanci složiti da jesu.

Ostaje rješiti probleme na supply strani – realne probleme, nasuprot nominalnim. Kao i danas, u situaciji kada monetarna politika zariba u ispunjavanju svoje zadaće da zadovolji potražnju za novcem, fiskalna strana će se početi naglašavati kao rješenje. Po pitanju supply side politika nemam puno reći. I austrijanci i market monetaristi su u načelu libertarijanci i kod jednih i drugih postoji stav da je slobodno tržište najbolji način organiziranja gospodarstva. Keynesijanci će promovirati ideju zamke likvidnosti kao kraj monetarne politike i početak fiskalne intervencije. Austrijanci i market monetaristi znaju da zamka likvidnosti ne postoji. Kad se otvori put fiskalnoj intervenciji, otvorena su i vrata svoj mogućoj misalokaciji resursa. Za razliku od monetarne politike fiskalna politika se miješa u alokaciju što stvara grozne distrozije. Jednako tako, fail središnje banke joj posredno daje za pravo da se uključuje u spašavanje ovog i onog poduzeća čime efektivno zaustavlja kreativnu destrukciju i zajedno s restriktivnom monetarnom politikom uništava efikasnost rekalkulacije. 
Kada je naša fiktivna središnja banka prihvatila NGDPLT režim, u vodu pada i priča o zamci likvidnosti, a potražnja se vraća na normalnu razinu preko neutralnog monetarnog pravila.

*ovo sam skupio veliki broj bilješki, pa  će ispravljanje pravopisnih grešaka najvjerojatnije trajati još koji dan. Iz istog razloga je možda sve teško povezivo.

PS Austrijanci: Free bankers i 100%backers  raspravljaju oko pitanja frakcionalnog bankarstva. Ovdje možete naći kratku ali zanimljivu obranu (ppt) free bankinga i teorije monetarne neravnoteže. Kao market monetarist, prirodno mi je da podržavam tu stranu. 

Read More

Structural or demand shock, we still need NGDP level targeting

So, I finally got some time to collect my ideas about Vuk’s latest post on market monetarism in one post. The main question was if NGDPLT (NGDP level targeting) can bring major economies out of current slump. Vuk believes that, structural shock being the main reason we are (still) in the slump, monetary stimulus cant’ help a lot. On the other side, my view is that CBs (central banks) caused a big part of the slump by conducting overly tight policy in face of the heightened money demand. I do not deny there arent any structural problems, as you will read in the rest of the post. Unfortunately for everyone, I have some problems focusing and that’s why I write this much instead of writing a comment on the post. I always cram my posts with some additional ideas I may have. One good thing for me i that this way I may get a feedback from Vuk (or anyone else reading the posts).

Structural shock, politics and ECB

I was so sure you’re going to take up on that sentence, but I put it in anyways, for the sake of the debate :D.
You remember, in my post, I wrote,  I had a “moral” problem. It was exactly the point you made about making things easier for irresponsible governments. Unlike some other of my colleagues, Im a bloodsucking neoliberal who knows governments never learn, especially when they have strong backing by the media and general public opinion about bloodsucking free market prophets such as  myself. Pain is sometimes necessary, but how much/long? If part of it was caused by monetary policy, that part must be resolved. Thats where my problem with the whole thing lies. 
Some progress in reforms in EU has been made. At the same time additional  taxes, regulations, “rescue”/transfer” funds will act as a brake for the positive labour market reforms, privatizations and other moves being made. What the world needs is a stable monetary environment, with clear goals and instruments to reach them. And this is where I believe NGDPLT is important (not perfect), it is a policy rule that is neutral. A lot of metrics are getting distorted today because the fall in NGDP was that drastic (like Greek debt/gdp), if NGDPLT was implemented, things would have looked a lot different today. I know we are talking of the effects of the NGDPLT as a short term stimulus, but I find it just hard to asses it from that short term point of view.
Other thing is that I dont believe in “growth models”. Maybe I dont understand what you mean by the term. I think markets determine where they want to go. I guess you can call this stance a clear belief in EMH. Only model we should think about is the model of  institutional setting for the future. Same as rule based monetary policy (favorably NGDPLT), public policy (institutional reforms) should follow the same idea. And this is something where Noah Smith (quote) had an idea, but lost it to fiscal multiplier. If the path of reforms is more or less secure, and not under threat every time a new government steps in (I think Scandinavian countries are a prime example last 20yrs) public policy can influence and stabilize long term expectations for agents. Now the pressure from the “Troika” is doing that, but the equilibrium between sides is very fragile. We see what corruption allegations are doing to the credibility of Spanish PM and reform policies. As Lars Christensen puts it
On the other hand if the ECB moves back to the bad habit of conditioning monetary policy on political outcome then once again the markets will start worrying about the finer details of Italian and Spanish politics.
That’s obviously a problem. With NGDPLT markets wouldn’t probably be focused on that so much. It would be easier to asses how much of the stress is reall ycaused by the irresponsibility of governments. The problem of PIIGS yields is the problem of ECB conducting monetary policy trough a interest rate channel – hence the need for institutional reform in this environment. I dont even want to talk about fiscal multipliers, for me, its such a terrible concept, because, unlike neutral monetary policy it is a very clear intervention in allocation. In the most simple words, in market monetarist view, fiscal multiplier is 0, since NGDP or inflation targeting bank will offset any rise/fall in AD caused by fiscal side – this is known as the Sumner critique, and also this is a part of explanation what is happening today in Europe. 

Draghi’ promise
Regarding “Draghi’s promise”: most of the uncertainities about market conditions (yields) were relieved. I never claimed anything structural changed in the economy of Spain. Notice here, I dont even dispute the notion that there are structural problems that need to be solved, and that ECB won’t be able to solve them. Some of the problems are directly related to institutional setting of the Eurozone, and this is something where ECB can give “recommendations”, but it can’t solve them. I have some ideas how NGDPLT could help overcome some of the challenges arising from the current Eurozone setting, but, more about it some other time.
You can take a look at the effects on business/consumer confidence. But I refered to Draghis words relating to the markets – financial markets.
Here are Spanish yields from a Rabobank report, question is will it last, especially regarding to the previous paragraph. Rabobank people, as you can see consider the falling yield and CDS as part of “Looking to OMT”. In a way they are right. But on the other side, markets would push Spain over the cliff to OMT (ESM) if they deemed it was necessary, but they went other way – doing most of Draghis work.  The logic of OMTs in a way showcases the Sumner critique.

But, what I believe to be more important is the Target 2 balance, showing that situation of “internal” Eurosystem payments are beginning to stabilize, after Draghis “promise”. I saw this situation as one of big risks for the Eurozone (Eurosystem).

Regarding consumer/business confidence, as I said, I dont think you can get a lot from that data. Consumers don’t see monetary policy in terms of income ,yet 😉 , but in terms of inflation. Im no institutionalist, so in my view relative price signals are important for allocation of investment and stable nominal environment is critical then. In that sense Draghi has no effect on allocation, but ECB can influence stability. Consumer confidence can be strongly related to the performance of labour market, which by now is terrible. If monetary policy solved a big part of the NGDP gap, at least the part we can agree(?) it caused, situation on labour markets wouldn’t be like this.
Since a lot of “toxic” investments pulled down some healthy assets with them, we have a much wider crisis than was necessary. Dont forget subprime was 3% of the mortage market. Greek GDP was also 3%(?) of the Eurozone economy. Also debt/NGDP ratios wouldn’t explode as much, and healthy parts of the economy wouldn’t be starved because there is a need for cleansing of the malinvestments in some sectors.
And that is the part of the economy I am concerned with right now, those which are getting clobbered because there are some mistakes in the system. NGDPLT would solve a huge part of this.

The hot potato
The question is if you agree with market monetarist view that there is elevated demand for money (money and assets used as money) that isn’t satisfied. Also do you see inflation and NGDP as the best indicators of monetary policy stance? Its not the idea that Fed had tight policy, but policy was tight in face what was happening on the markets. Effectively markets were signaling tight policy and rising money demand.  MMs will argue NGDP fall shows this fact (tightness). NGDP was collapsing long before Lehman bankruptcy, you can’t argue that this huge fall in NGDP happened last 15 days of the quarter?

If you take a look at the money market spreads, you will see they were rising long before the Lehman collapse. Markets were screaming that money was tight.
Also don’t forget the problems of Feds primary dealer system, one can argue that even if the Fed saw what was happening, this could have been a bottleneck for future action. 
Now, lets take the hot potato idea to the extreme. Imagine CB bought all financial assets and then, it sets out to buy your house, gives you money for it and throws you on the street. I guess you would set out to buy a new house, flat, cardboard box etc. Off-course this is imaginary but illustrates the mechanism. From my perspective, CBs dont even have to try to throw the “hot potato” in terms of excess money. 
If Fed satisfies the elevated money demand + commits to a rule based policy as NGDPLT to ensure stable environment for endogenous money creation, especially in asset creation, it will fulfill its role in my view. I liked Nick Rowe’s “story”how (fiat) money is the only asset in all markets. If there is shortage of money, there is a shortage of realized exchanges relating to the possible optimum. I think it is enough to satisfy demand to ensure the monetary policy job is done, and then, maybe, you can think in terms of the following view of mine.
The big picture

l’ll give you a punching bag right now, but I imagine it looking like this.
I visualize it like this – consider the graph showing nominal demand (a) which is determined by monetary policy. You may observe it as money supply versus money demand needed for that level of NGDP (equation of exchange). Lets say its a two good economy. On one axis is one good (investment) on the other, is the alternative good (investment). Lets arbitrarily say that A represents some long term equilibrium.  (I did this in word so it may look a bit crappy, Im open for suggestions on other tools to draw things like this)


B represents some supply shock induced deviation. Now, in NGDPLT monetary policy is neutral. It should keep the nominal demand stable on the path. All the reactions can happen in a stable nominal environment. Shaded are shows the distortion and the loss of the nominal income.

That results in move from a -> b.

Nominal income deviated from the path as a result. Now, in growth rate targeting regime (or inflation targeting), this would be fine and CB wouldn’t have to make up for the “mistake”. If you regard NGDP as a stance of monetary policy, b would mean the MP is tight. 
When the nominal environment deviates as well, you have a “double” problem, creating a sort of feedback loop. Nominal income falls – for example, cash flows from all MBS, not just those which were subprime or some other that are in “trouble” are affected. Now, general nominal AD may deviate from the “optimum”, but monetary policy doing the level targeting, will do everything to make up for the shortfall (and bring the situation back to a+level target in t+1). It will be easier to allocate resources from distressed sectors then. 

Now demand for subprime housing will decline, but other asset classes will not have problem with distressed prices. This crunch in a part of a market can occur if there is a general uncertainty (call it information asimetry?), counterparty risk on the markets, creating a vicious circle from market liquidity to funding liquidity, back to market liquidity and so forth, distorting all possible asset classes. In that moment money demand explodes further / velocity is falling. Then further decline (to point c) in nominal income because MP was tight is certain.


Why can’t the discovery of some other equilibrium/ return to A (if B was unsustainable) be easier in situation where money is tight? I think its because if some other healthy sector is affected by a fall in nominal income (tight policy – take a look at role of money in all markets) it will not be able to accommodate the adjustment.

If Fed responds to that money demand appropriately, it can prevent a widespread vicious circle we saw in 2008 and consequences of which people are still feeling around the world. Doing it now (from point c) makes it a lot harder, but NGDPLT can induce markets to do part of a heavy lifting as I was trying to show before.  “Good” parts of the economy will continue to function since monetary policy isn’t affecting relative prices but is targeting agregate nominal incomes and ensuring cash flows related with such investment (going at least to b, preferably to a). So if you are talking about MBS, those with cash flows from subprime borrowers will likely become “toxic” and the misallocation of resources caused by the idea of granting these people access to loans to buy homes will have to be resolved . I would call this the structural part. On the other hand, other securities may still be of “good”, primarily transparent,  value – because nominal incomes they generated and generated from them are not significantly affected by the crunch in the other market. Offcourse they wouldn’t be fully immune, but on the other hand these wouldn’t be caught in a firesales spiral caused by high money demand (think of Rowe’s story), which is not accommodated (to c). Lets call this “tight MP” part . (again, lets suppose some of primary dealers weren’t loaded with subprime MBS going bad)

I dont know enough about measurements of output gaps and will appreciate any of your or someone else’s input on my thoughts. Insofar we can agree that Great Moderation is a period from 1987, do you believe that, as you say, “unsustainable system” was created from that point? Then I see a reason to doubt the pre crisis path. 
If problems of unsustainability were “created” (unsustainability began to amass?)  at some other point later (1999 – with CRA; 2001-2003 rates too low for too long etc) than path of NGDP resulting created by the Great moderation doesn’t have to be questioned to the extent that “it wasn’t all bad” and maybe it can be continued – than there is some sense in trying to make up for past mistakes and continue the same path.
Now, lets return to the graph idea (if it has any merit) and think of it in terms of the shock. Basically, If we accept that level path US embarked on since the 1987 was in fact the begin of an unsustainable amassment of instabilities that culminated in 2007, then I see nominal AD, permanently falling to the level (b), acceptable. That would mean NGDP was above some long term trend from then.
Major CBs should go on with implementing NGDPLT, first by accommodating the risen demand for money to alleviate mistakes (fall to c) they made before (thereby not absolutely solving the slump and restoring it to the pre crisis path – since it was unsustainable). I would call this scenario “embracing the gap”. (Im presuming here you do agree part of the gap is tight MP)

Dont get me wrong, there were a lot of mistakes Fed did during these 20yrs, but lets say those were repairable and did not have long lasting effects – unless there are some, you believe are responsible for the excesses I mention in the next sentence. 
So, on the other side, if we accept that there were certain excesses caused by unsustainable policies (be it by Fed, Governments, of exogenous nature…) from some point during the Great Moderation to Q3/2008, and some of those can be seen as the “beginning” of the end for the system set up that way, do we really need to say, that underlying NGDP level path was totally unsustainable? Then I do see a reason for monetary policy to try to get to the pre crisis level path (a). Lets call this scenario “bridging the gap”. 
Even if there were periods of unsustainable growth, Im still not really convinced that it brings long term problems with it. Its not like Americans or Europeans became lazier, les innovative etc. There are restraints for future dynamism of US and EU economies stemming from the responses to the Crisis, but there is no reason why CBs shouldn’t start targeting nominal income and bringing it back to precrisis path. Also, another problem, the way I see it, is, that in case of a negative supply shock and monetary policy that responded appropriately , we would see a rise in inflation, which didnt occur.
If we say that structural shock is making this impossible (I see Europe being a bigger problem here), CBs can at least solve the problems they caused when they tightened the policy (back to b). 

In the end, our little debate is basically a debate of “how much”, or as you put it
My problem is on the perception of the rule itself (NGDPLT) as a credible enough mechanism to pull us out of a recession.
where I see switch to NGDPLT helping much more than you believe it can.
In that sense, MP can bring back the path at least to b, where I see you observing the c as the “new normal” until structural reforms are implemented – or b if you do agree that part of the problem is the tight MP.
NGDPLT, in my view, can’t resolve all the problems (as in my previous post, you see that I do agree with you on some underlying real growth problems resulting from the problems with the malinvestment “legacy”) but it will create stability for the unaffected parts of the economy as well as raise nominal incomes in terms of the output lost because of the monetary policy mistakes (tight stance). If only an ADshock happened, then great, if not,   then we will know monetary policy did all it could (and should). Returning to the pre-crisis trend in NGDP doesnt mean returning to the same patterns in the economy (B), it means ensuring conductive environment and an opportunity for these patterns to change (probably to A).
Regarding Bullards presentation, Sumner had posts (1, 2) so take a look.

UPDATE: Nick Rowe has a great story showcasing the hot potato, recession as a monetary phenomenon and basically a big part of my “big picture”

PS. Sorry for much of the spelling mistakes, autocorrect seems to have a mind of its own


Read More