DeLong se diz “perturbado”…

com as “novas verdades” (aqui):

One disturbing thing about studying economic history is how things that happen in the present change the past – or at least our understanding of the past. For decades, I have confidently taught my students about the rise of governments that take on responsibility for the state of the economy. But the political reaction to the Great Recession has changed the way we should think about this issue.

Na parte final do texto, escreve:

Today, the flow of economy-wide spending is low. Thus, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is moving to have the Fed boost that flow by changing the mix of privately held assets as it buys government bonds that pay interest in exchange for cash that does not.

That is entirely standard. The only slight difference is that the Fed is buying seven-year Treasury notes rather than three-month Treasury bills. It has no choice: the seven-year notes are the shortest-duration Treasury bonds that now pay interest. The Fed cannot reduce short-term interest rates below zero, so it is attempting via this policy of “quantitative easing” to reduce longer-term interest rates.

O erro, mais uma vez, é olhar o QE2 como tendo por objetivo reduzir os juros longos! Com isso, a análise fica “mecânica” permitindo que dois nomes famosos como Krugman de um  lado do espectro ideológico e Robert Barro, no lado oposto, cheguem a conclusões idênticas a respeito do efeito do programa sobre a economia (aqui) e (aqui), mas lógico que com implicações opostas para a inflação!:

Barro: My conclusion is that QE2 may be a short-term expansionary force, thereby lessening concerns about deflation. However, the Treasury can produce identical effects by changing the maturity structure of its outstanding debts. The downside of QE2 is that it intensifies the problems of an exit strategy aimed at avoiding the inflationary consequences of the Fed’s vast monetary expansion.

Krugman: But I really don’t understand this. Granted that QE2 will probably have some positive effect, hopefully bigger than analysis based on the debt-maturity equivalence suggests. Still, the prospect remains that we’ll face multiple years of high unemployment — or, if you prefer, a protracted large output gap (PLOG). And history is clear on what that means: declining inflation.

Update: Krugman elebora sobre o artigo de DeLong (aqui).

Arnold Kling responde aos dois (aqui)

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