Een rente van nul procent is voor mij geen harde ondergrens.
President van de Nederlandsche Bank, Klaas Knot, reageert op de extreem lage inflatie in de eurozone, die zo langzamerhand richting problematische deflatie begint te gaan.
En dat terwijl – deels uit politieke motieven – bankiers de afgelopen jaren voortdurend voor inflatie hebben gewaarschuwd. In de woorden van Paul Krugman:
The point, however, is that inflation obsession has persisted, year after year, even as events have refuted its supposed justifications. And this tells us that something more than bad analysis is at work. At a fundamental level, it’s political. […]
The overall picture is that most conservatives are inflation obsessives, and nearly all inflation obsessives are conservative.
Why is this the case? In part it reflects the belief that the government should never seek to mitigate economic pain, because the private sector always knows best. […]
The flip side of this antigovernment attitude is the conviction that any attempt to boost the economy, whether fiscal or monetary, must produce disastrous results — Zimbabwe, here we come! And this conviction is so strong that it persists no matter how wrong it has been, year after year.
Finally, all this ties in with a predilection for acting tough and inflicting punishment whatever the economic conditions. The British journalist William Keegan once described this as “sado-monetarism,” and it’s very much alive today.