Buena explicación de Yanis Varoufakis... (al que no estimo, precisamente), sobre el efecto contraproducente de los tipos de interés cero y negativos para la economía, incentivando, en vez de la ingestión real, la inversión financiera y las operaciones de buyback.
Imagine you are an entrepreneur with money in the bank, or have a bank eager to lend large sums to invest in your business. You spend sleepless nights wondering whether you should invest in a new product – that is, whether you should exploit your access to money to cause an array of others to work on your behalf. In our current Great Deflation, what worries you most is your customers’ future purchasing power and sentiment. Will they be able and willing to buy your new product at high enough prices and quantities?Suppose that, sleep-deprived, you then switch on the radio or TV only to hear that US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are considering reducing interest rates further. Will you rejoice at the prospect that your financing costs will fall? Will you be motivated to invest your own money now that it earns lower (perhaps even negative) interest?No and no. Your reaction is most likely to be one of alarm: “Oh, my God! If Janet and Mario are considering another interest-rate cut, they must have good reason to believe that demand will remain low!” So you abandon your investment plan. “Better to borrow money at almost no cost,” you think, “and buy back a few more of my company’s shares, boost their price, earn more on the stock exchange, and bank the profits for the rainy days that are coming.”And so it is that the price of money falls, even as the supply of it burgeons. Central bankers who never predicted the Great Deflation are now busily trying to find a way out with economic and econometric models that could never explain it, let alone point to solutions. Unwilling to question the political dogma that central banks must be apolitical, they refuse to think of money as more than a “thing.” And so they continue the search for a technocratic fix to a problem crying out for a philosophically astute political solution.It’s a futile quest. Once the price of money (interest rates) hit zero, central banks tried buying mountains of public and private debt from commercial banks to give them an incentive to lend freely. The ECB went so far as to pay banks to lend to business while, at the same time, punishing them for not lending (via negative interest rates for excess reserves).But bankers and businesses, viewing these measures as desperate responses to self-fulfilling deflationary expectations, went on an investment strike, while using the central-bank money to inflate the prices of their own assets (stocks, art, real estate, and so forth). This did nothing to defeat the Great Deflation; it only made the rich richer, an outcome that somehow reinforced central bankers’ belief in central bank independence.
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