Shinzo Abe's Monetary-Policy Delusions
By Stephen Roach
December 28, 2012
NEW HAVEN â€“ The politicization of central banking continues unabated. The resurrection of Shinzo Abe and Japanâ€™s Liberal Democratic Party â€“ pillars of the political system that has left the Japanese economy mired in two lost decades and counting â€“ is just the latest case in point.
Japanâ€™s recent election hinged critically on Abeâ€™s views of the Bank of Japanâ€™s monetary policy stance. He argued that a timid BOJ should learn from its more aggressive counterparts, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Just as the Fed and the ECB have apparently saved the day through their unconventional and aggressive quantitative easing (QE), goes the argument, Abe believes it is now time for the BOJ to do the same.
It certainly looks as if he will get his way. With BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawaâ€™s term ending in April, Abe will be able to select a successor â€“ and two deputy governors as well â€“ to do his bidding.
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(c) Project Syndicate