La Fed se trompe en montant les taux

Un bon article dans Business Insider à partir de l’opinion de David Blanchflower, l’ancien membre du Comité de Politique de la Banque d’Angleterre.

Il explique que la Fed commet une erreur de politique en montant ses taux. La Fed utilise des modèles économiques défaillants qui ignorent le sous emploi profond et la faiblesse sous jacente de l’économie.

Blanchflower est maintenant professeur au Dartmouth College.

La Fed a tort de se localiser sur le taux de chomage apparent de 4,4%; celui ci, depuis 2008 ne veut plus rien dire, il n’exprime pas la vraie situation du marché du travail. L’économie est encore trop faible et nous sommes loin du plein emploi. Le slack, la sous utilisation sont bien plus imporants que la Fed ne le pense.

L’erreur de la fed a plusieurs origines mais au moins deux:

-elle subit la pression des banques qui veulent des taux plus rémunérateurs et

-d’autre part la Fed se trompe sur la courbe de Phillips et la relation entre les salaires et le marché du travail.

Vous savez que c’est notre position, nous partageons sur tous les points l’analyse de Blanchflower.

The Federal Reserve is making a big policy error by raising interest rates, and it is doing so because policymakers are wedded to failed economic models that ignore deep underemployment and a weak underlying economic environment.

That’s the view of David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee who is now a professor at Dartmouth College.

Blanchflower told Business Insider in an interview that the Fed was vastly overestimating the labor market’s true strength by focusing too heavily on the historically low headline unemployment rate, which registered 4.4% in June.

« Prior to 2008, the unemployment rate was a sufficient statistic to tell you about the labor market, » Blanchflower said. « The employment rate was mirror image. »

Today, however, « a cyclical decline in demand means the unemployment rate has fallen but the employment rate has not recovered to precrisis levels, » he said. In other words, the economy is still too weak to sustain full employment, and policymakers are not doing enough about it.

Explaining the gap are high levels of long-term unemployment and severe underemployment, in addition to persistent racial disparities in job availability and incomes.

« Why are you raising rates? » he said. « Inflation is weak because we’re in a cyclical down point — there’s much more slack than the unemployment rate suggests, » he said.

There’s probably a mix of reasons. Among those is pressure from interest groups like banks, which begged for rate cuts during the crisis but are now tired of the subpar returns associated with a prolonged low-rate environment. But another important factor is that policymakers are wedded to the concept of the Phillips curve, a model that simplistically says inflation is sure to spike once the labor market tightens enough.

This view is reflected in the curious concern expressed by policymakers like William Dudley of the New York Fed and John Williams of the San Francisco Fed who think the unemployment rate may somehow be falling too quickly — as if this were a bad thing.

« This is a huge intellectual failure, » said Blanchflower, who is working on a book on the labor market. « Economics was nothing more than drawing a straight line and thinking it would continue. »

« If these guys were right, then why would people have voted for jobs, jobs, jobs, and Donald Trump? » he added.

The same inflation hawks within and outside the central bank have been warning about imminent inflation for years, Blanchflower said, only to be proved wrong time and again: « It’s really here, it’s really coming, it’s really coming, inflation is right around the corner. »

Indeed, it never has. US inflation continues to undershoot the Fed’s 2% target, and it is in fact moving further below it, despite a low headline jobless rate. This suggests there’s much room for improvement yet, something most jobseekers would attest to.

pce price indexAndy Kiersz/Business Insider

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