Friday, 26 February 2010

Should I be proud?

My school has announced on its website two professors from Warsaw School of Economics had been appointed as members of Monetary Policy Council. My university employs a lot of outstanding experts in monetary policy, like professor Krzysztof Rybiński, but for no apparent reason the current president decided to pick some of his buddies and once again set personal relationships above competencies. The previous president also for no apparent reasons designated renowned specialists – Andrzej Sławiński, Andrzej Wojtyna and Dariusz Filar.

Some time ago I evaluated competencies of Zyta Gilowska, there’s nothing I can add about her. None of fellow students with whom I discussed the nomination of Mr Glapiński and we our views simply square – he lacks knowledge, but is a close friend of Mr Kaczyński and no one else would have appointed him. He will have to learn a lot.

When it comes to Mr Kaźmierczak, the matter is a bit more complex. His field of academic research overlaps the issues of monetary policy, but there’s one significant fact about him that might have been seen as a merit by Mr Kaczyński. The new member of monetary authorities has never been a reputable figure among economists. His opinions are not appreciated, few people heard about him. He publishes in Gnash Dziennik, a newspaper of Father Rydzyk’s empire. I may be biased against him, as his dovish views are totally dissimilar to mine. He doesn’t see inflation above target as a danger for economy, it’s even conducive to economic growth as he says.

Inflation, contrary to what he advocates has to be handled carefully. It hazardously easily spirals out of control. As soon as it gets noticeable for customers, their inflationary expectations rise, so they hold out for pay rises and then when they get it, the economy is on the verge of a slippery slope.

In Poland a relatively tight monetary policy prior to the crisis helped our country avert a financial meltdown. Monetary authorities, mostly Mr Balcerowicz, who was a governor of central bank at the time were harshly criticised for the policy they had pursued. Unlike some other countries.

As professor John B. Taylor (the author of famous Taylor rule) points out in his latest interview for “Polityka”, one of the main causes of the financial crisis were too low interest rates. He also blames central banks and government for inapposite responses and openly condemns monetary policy run by Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. This short interview might be helpful in understanding the origins and mechanics of what has been called the worst recession since the Great Depression.

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