August 26, 2016
Sir, I refer to your “Central bankers ponder moving the goalposts” August 26.
Stock and bond markets are important but the banks are most often the financiers of the first stages of growth. So while regulators, with their risk weighted capital requirements, insist in distorting the allocation of bank credit to the real economy; impeding sufficient flows to what has been deemed as risky, like SMEs and entrepreneurs, there is no chance in hell that QEs, negative interests or whatever else central bankers might concoct will work.
Some want to make up for the regulatory risk aversion by designing special financing facilities, for instance to SMEs. That’s would be the wrong way, that would just make everything more complicated and even less transparent.
Frankly, when I read about what options central bankers are pondering, it all sounds like a Lilliput and Blefuscus debate, 2% or 4%, break the egg on the larger or on the smaller end. Perhaps, if they cannot get their act together, and before they take us further up the huge mountain of debts they talk down as quasi-debts, we should seriously ponder the need to move them out.
Inflation targets, nominal value of GDP and such, means little for most on Main Street. For instance, as a grandfather, I would welcome some central bankers that would target future employment rates, in decent jobs of course; and were willing to index their respective retirement plans to my grandchildren’s success, and to the value of the pension and retirement plans of those of their generation.
Sir, the independence of central bankers, cannot signify they are not to be held accountable for what they do.