Международная студенческая научно-практическая конференция «Инновационное развитие государства: проблемы и перспективы глазам молодых ученых». Том 1

Fatalieva L., Mudrenko A.A., Derevyanko M.N.

Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, Ukraine


Sometimes you can have too much news. There was so much financial turmoil in the autumn that it was hard to keep up with events. In retrospect it is clear that a change in the economic backdrop akin to the demise of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s has taken place. Investors will be dealing with the aftermath for decades to come.

 From the mid-1980s onwards the answer to big financial setbacks appeared to be simple. Central banks would cut interest rates and, eventually, the stockmarket would recover. It worked after Black Monday (the day in October 1987 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 23%) and the Asian crisis of 1997-98. It did not rescue shares after the dotcom bust but the easing led to the housing boom and the underpricing of risk in credit markets.

 Easing monetary policy was pretty popular. It lowered borrowing costs for companies and homebuyers. To the extent that savers earned lower returns on their deposit accounts, they were usually compensated by a rebound in the value of their equity holdings.

 Indeed, monetary easing appeared to be costless. When policymakers cut interest rates in the 1960s and 1970s they often ignited inflationary pressures. Not so in the 1990s. Whether that was down to the brilliance of central banks or the deflationary pressures emanating from China and India is still a matter of debate.

 This time around conventional monetary policy has not been enough. The authorities have also had to resort to quantitative easing, using the balance-sheets of central banks to ensure the funding of clearing banks and to keep the lid on bond yields. And there has been a huge dollop of fiscal easing. Some countries’ budget deficits have soared to 10% of GDP.

 The fiscal packages have proved rather less popular than monetary easing. Initially they were seen as bail-outs for greedy bankers. But the focus of criticism has shifted to the deterioration of government finances and the potential for higher future taxes, borrowing costs and inflation.

 An eerie parallel seems to be at work. There was a time, back in the 1950s and 1960s, when Keynesian stimulus packages were seen as costless. Governments thought they could fine-tune their economies out of recession. Eventually it was realised that the ultimate result of too much stimulus was higher inflation and excessive government involvement in the economy. Keynesian demand management was abandoned in favour of the monetary approach. The past couple of years have demonstrated that the use of monetary policy had its costs too, not in consumer inflation but in rising debt levels and growing asset bubbles.

 The authorities never even considered allowing the financial crisis to continue unhindered. The damage to the economy would have been too great. But the costs of this latest round of government action will be big. Investors will have it in mind during the next boom that governments will rescue the largest banks, slash rates, intervene in the markets and run huge deficits. In other words the moral-hazard problem will be even greater.

 Before we get there, however, the authorities will have to work out an exit strategy. Past cycles have shown that the tightening phase, after a long period of low rates, can be very dangerous. Bond markets were savaged in 1994 when the Federal Reserve started to raise rates from 3%. What will bond markets do if central banks also unload the holdings acquired during the crisis? And how will stockmarkets perform if interest rates and taxes are being raised at the same time?

 Given these risks, the new era will surely be a lot more fragile than the one that prevailed in the 1980s and 1990s. There is simply more scope for policymakers to go wrong.

 In addition, the global financial system has lost its anchor. When Bretton Woods broke down and the last link to gold was severed, there was in theory nothing to stop governments from creating money. It took independent central banks, armed with inflation targets, to reassure creditors. But now central banks have shown they have another priority apart from controlling inflation: bailing out the banks. The new era is one in which governments are using floating exchange rates, near-zero interest rates and vast fiscal deficits to protect their economies. None of this is good news for creditors, who will surely not put up with the situation for long. The actions they take to protect their portfolios—demanding higher bond yields, pushing for fixed exchange rates—will define the next economic system. The topic of the economy overshadows all analyses.

 Many strategists are left to say no matter what we do, business will be down.

 The routine of observing employee performance, analyzing workers’ reviews, testing hotel amenities, targeting product ranking, and the overall competitive edge of the property are no longer the subjects think tank managers of few years ago tackled.

 In conclusion, the meaning of a stable economic environment has changed and will continue to change. Without any doubt, the 21st century will not offer the traditional concept we have known for years in market definition and economic stability. Instead, it will offer volatility for which we must present adaptability and adjustments.

 So we all must get used to it and not consider it as a temporary phase. It is the future and the future is always unpredictable. The business mind must be ready to face challenges and overcome them with an impulsive and dynamic mood of a new era. And that is doable.