"Central bank regime change is a hot topic for Jim Leaviss of M&G and a major consideration in the asset allocation decisions he makes for the Global Macro Bond Fund he runs. Mr Leaviss maintains central bankers will be less focused on meeting inflation targets in future and more interested in the problems of unemployment, indebtedness, and the social unrest that might erupt as a result.Pauline Skypala, "The Bank and the bond vigilantes", FT 15 april
Any sensible central banker has to focus on getting growth going again, Mr Leaviss tells FTfm in a video interview. 'This might mean we are in a world where central bankers keep the rate of interest they charge below the rate of inflation.'
They will not be able to say this is what they are doing: 'Any central banker that ever admitted he was allowing a bit more inflation in order to stimulate growth and get unemployment down would be hounded out of his job very quickly, and it would also cause a catastrophe in bond markets,” says Mr Leaviss.
He does not expect this subtle reorientation to result in a return to double digit inflation, but does anticipate inflation being higher than the official target rates.
The bond market does not appear to share this expectation, given that it is pricing in an inflation rate over the next 10 years of less than 2 per cent.
This makes inflation-linked assets look attractive, says Mr Leaviss, and he holds about 45 per cent of the £81.5m Global Macro Bond Fund in such assets. Inflation-linked bonds are cheap insurance, he says, when central bankers are effectively transferring wealth from savers to indebted governments."
Jim Leaviss, "Central Bank Regime Change: who cares about 2% inflation targets anymore? A chart.", Bond Vigilantes-bloggen 15 mars 2012
Och Kate Mckenzie har med denna punkt på sin lista över fyra trender i centralbankspolitiken:
"2. Central banks are (maybe) moving away from inflation targeting.Mckenzie, "Four trends in central bank-land", FT Alphaville 17 april
The M&G Bond Vigilantes have been predicting for a while that inflation targeting will become less central for central banks. And Scott Sumner, a big nominal GDP-targeting proponent, has for some time been pointing to signs of an open-mindedness to move away from inflation targeting within the Fed and BoE.
And lo and behold, the Reserve Bank of India appeared to be quite manifestly accepting the challenge on Tuesday /.../"
Tidigare om centralbanker här på bloggen: "Högre inflationsmål, och ECB-utvärderingar", 25 augusti 2011 (och länkar där i); "Sysselsättningsmål för Riksbanken?", 26 april 2010.
Uppdatering 8 maj
Roger Farmer, "Central banks should do much more", FT Economists' Forum 8 maj
Uppdatering 8 mars 2013
"(The optimal policy mix seems to include writedowns, increased public borrowing to offset declining private borrowing, and perhaps some sovereign debt monetisation by the central bank.) History overwhelmingly demonstrates that the will to do all that is necessary does not develop until after many years of pain. That helps explain the empirical evidence collected by Oscar Jorda, Moritz Schularick, and Alan Taylor, who found that recessions occuring after periods of rapid credit growth were consistently worse than other recessions:M.C.K., "Doomed to fail?", Economist Free Exchange 1 mars
One of the important implications of that chart is that high levels of private debt make it harder to restore growth even in the absence of an acute crisis. Perhaps that is why the developed world’s central banks have had to keep short-term rates low for longer in the three most recent cycles (1989-1994, 2001-2004, and 2007-present) than in previous ones. Even then, the past three recoveries have been markedly weaker than those that came before. Combined with the reality that policy responses to debt crises are almost always suboptimal, it seems reasonable to try to think of ways to prevent unsustainable levels of borrowing.
One challenge is determining what counts as “sustainable”. There is no one right answer here, but a recent paper from Claudio Borio, Piti Disyatat, and Mikael Juselius of the Bank for International Settlements is a decent start. Building on empirical research from a range of scholars, including Messrs Jorda, Schularick, and Taylor, they try to improve the concept of economic “potential” by considering how spending is financed and whether those financial relationships are sustainable. In other words, they attempt to incorporate some of Mr Minsky’s insights into macroeconomics, which traditionally ignored the existence of a for-profit financial sector..."
M.C.K., "How should central banks think about the financial system?", Economist Free Exchange 29 januari