sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2014

Banqueiro Admite Bancos Centrais Elevam a Desigualdade de Renda.

Vejam o discurso abaixo de Yves Mersch, membro do Banco Central Europe, publicado no site do Banco. Em suma, dinheiro dos governos, dado por meio dos bancos centrais, está indo para quem já tem dinheiro, para banqueiros, basicamente ao se comprar os ativos dos banqueiros e punir os poupadores com juros baixos.

Para se ver o resultado disto, basta ver como está a desigualdade de renda nos Estados Unidos, depois de cinco anos de "pau na máquina", de enormes, nunca vistos estímulos financeiros. Vejam aqui que a desigualdade de renda bate recordes nos Estados Unidos.

Leiam o texto de Mersch, marquei em negrito as partes mais reveladoras da desigualdade de renda provocada pelos bancos centrais.

Vou colocar aqui parte do discurso.

Keynote speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, 

Corporate Credit Conference,
Zurich, 17 October 2014

The rise of inequality

Let me begin with inequality, which has recently re-emerged as a topic of wide public debate. [1] From a central banker’s perspective, the most relevant aspects of recent works concern the assessment that monetary policy can have sizeable distributional effects. Indeed, inequality has been largely ignored in discussions of monetary policy. But this might be changing.
In part, this is because of the potentially negative impact of rising inequality on financial stability. For example, some – not least the current governor of the Reserve Bank of India – have argued that US policies to circumvent the consequences of inequality fuelled financial instability ahead of the crisis. [2] But while income inequality may have driven the credit boom that preceded the US subprime crisis, comparative and historical evidence suggests that there is little relationship between rising inequality and financial crises. [3]
More generally, inequality is of interest to central banking discussions because monetary policy itself has distributional consequences which in turn influence the monetary transmission mechanism. For example, the impact of changes in interest rates on the consumer spending of an individual household depend crucially on that household’s overall financial position – whether it is a net debtor or a net creditor; and whether the interest rates on its assets and liabilities are fixed or variable.
Such differences have macroeconomic implications, as the economy’s overall response to policy changes will depend on the distribution of assets, debt and income across households – especially in times of crisis, when economic shocks are large and unevenly distributed. For example, by boosting – first – aggregate demand and – second – employment, monetary easing could reduce economic disparities; at the same time, if low interest rates boost the prices of financial assets while punishing savings deposits, they could lead to widening inequality.
Insofar, central bankers have a technical, non-judgemental interest in the distribution of income and wealth in a society.

The distributional effects of monetary policy: theory and evidence

So what do we know about the impact of monetary policy on the distribution of wealth, income and consumption? A comprehensive study published recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlines five potential channels by which more accommodative measures might affect inequality. [4]
The first is the ‘income composition channel’: while most households rely primarily on earnings from their work, others receive larger shares of their income from business and financial income. If more expansionary monetary policy raises profits more than wages, then those with claims to ownership of firms will tend to benefit disproportionately. Since the latter also tend to be wealthier, this channel should lead to higher inequality in response to more accommodative monetary policy.
The second is the ‘financial segmentation channel’: if some individuals and organisations frequently trade in financial markets and are affected by changes in the money supply before others, then an increase in the money supply will redistribute wealth towards those most connected to markets. To the extent that households that participate actively in financial transactions typically have higher income, then this channel also implies that consumption inequality should rise after expansionary monetary policy shocks.
The third is the ‘portfolio channel’: if low-income households tend to hold relatively more cash and fewer financial assets than high-income households, then potentially inflationary actions on the part of the central bank would represent a transfer from low- to high-income households. Again, this would tend to increase consumption inequality.
The NBER study outlines two further channels that tend to move inequality in the opposite direction in response to expansionary monetary policy. The first is the ‘savings redistribution channel’: lower interest rates will benefit borrowers and hurt savers. To the extent that savers are generally wealthier than borrowers, this will generate a reduction in consumption inequality.
The second is the ‘earnings heterogeneity channel’: earnings from jobs are the primary source of income for most households and earnings for high- and low-income households may respond differently to monetary policy. This could occur, for example, if unemployment falls disproportionately on low-income groups: evidence does suggest that that labour earnings at the bottom of the distribution are most affected by business cycle fluctuations. So if monetary policy reduces unemployment, it will also reduce inequality.
In addition, the income composition channel could potentially lead to reduced, rather than increased, inequality as a result of expansionary monetary policy. Because low-income households receive, on average, a larger share of their income from transfers and because transfers tend to be countercyclical, then this component of income heterogeneity could lead to reduced income inequality.
All these different channels imply that the effect of monetary policy on economic inequality is a priori ambiguous. The study therefore looks at US data from 1980 to assess whether monetary policy has contributed to changes in inequality and, if so, through which channels. The researchers find that contractionary monetary policy shocks have significant long-run effects on inequality.
In particular, they note the sensitivity of inequality measures to monetary policy actions at the zero-bound. They conclude that nominal interest rates hitting the zero-bound in times when the central bank’s systematic response to economic conditions calls for negative rates is conceptually similar to the economy being subject to a prolonged period of contractionary monetary policy.
A report last year by the McKinsey Global Institute looks specifically at the period of what it calls ultra-low interest rates. [5] It suggests that as a result of low rates in the US, the UK and the euro area, households have lost a combined $630 billion as lower interest earned on deposits and other fixed income investments has outweighed lower interest payments on debt. Younger households, which tend to be net borrowers, have gained while older households, which tend to be net savers, have lost at a time when many countries have introduced pension reforms affecting the benefits of pensioners
Rising asset prices prompted by monetary easing could potentially offset this effect. But while bond prices have clearly risen, the McKinsey report finds little evidence that non-standard monetary policy has boosted equity markets.
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, has also examined the post-2008 experience and whether quantitative easing has exacerbated US inequality. [6] It has been suggested that the Fed’s policy of buying US government bonds and mortgage-backed securities has depressed real yields on relatively safe assets and thus encouraged savers to move into riskier assets, such as equities, raising their prices. Since only half of US households hold equities and they tend to be the wealthiest households, this policy could be making the wealth distribution more unequal.
The analysis suggests that quantitative easing has influenced equity prices, but he does not think that this has made the US income or wealth distribution worse. It is, he says, only as good or bad as it was before the crisis.
Bullard also examines whether current US monetary policy hurts savers. He argues that Fed policy generally and quantitative easing in particular have influenced the real yield earned by savers. The question is then whether the Fed has helped or hurt the situation by pushing real yields lower. This hinges on whether credit markets have been functioning smoothly during the period of quantitative easing.
If credit markets were working perfectly, then the Fed intervention to push real yields lower than normal was unwarranted and the low real yields were indeed punishing savers. At the same time, it is difficult to argue that credit markets have been working perfectly over the past five years. But as time passes, he concludes, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue that credit markets remain in a state of disrepair, and thereby to justify continued low real rates.
One final piece of literature on monetary policy and inequality outside the euro area lies in recent research by Ayako Saiki and Jon Frost at De Nederlandsche Bank. [7] They have examined the impact of unconventional monetary policy on the distribution of income in Japan, a country whose long history of non-standard measures makes it particularly relevant. Their results show that while aggressive monetary policy finally seems to be having the desired effect on the economy, this strong medicine has come with the unwanted side-effect of higher income inequality.
They suggest a straightforward mechanism via the portfolio channel: an increase in the monetary base (through purchases of both safe and risky assets) tends to increase asset prices. Higher asset prices benefit primarily those on higher incomes, who hold a larger amount and share of overall savings in equities, and thus benefit from greater capital income. Overall, the Bank of Japan’s unconventional policies have widened income inequality, especially after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, when quantitative easing became more aggressive.
The researchers conclude that their study holds lessons for other countries undertaking unconventional monetary policy. While preventing deflation and repairing the monetary transmission mechanism at the zero-bound is inherently a difficult undertaking, Japan’s experience provides a cautionary tale on the potential side-effects. It is possible that the portfolio channel will be even larger in the US, the UK and many euro area economies, where households hold a larger portion of their savings in equities and bonds.

(Agradeço o texto de Mersch ao aite Zero Hedge)

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