Abandon Inflation Targeting

The Guardian, 12th July, 2008

In Ten tactics to brighten the gloom, the Guardian invited ten experts to give advice to the Chancellor and Prime Minister on how to lift the economic gloom – and to do it in just 100 words. Other contributors included Howard Davies, Robert Peston, Irwin Stelzer and Bill Emmot. Here is Ann Pettifor’s contribution:

Don’t crucify the economy on the cross of inflation. In the 1920s, central bankers crucified debt-laden economies on the cross of gold. In the 90s Japan’s finance ministry crucified that economy on the perceived threat of inflation. Ending the creditor-driven policy of inflation targeting frees up the Bank of England to cut interest rates and immediately helps debt-laden banks, companies and consumers. Inflation is feared most by creditors, grown rich on financial deregulation policies. The greater threat to the poor is a debt-deflationary spiral leading to high unemployment – made more certain by high real rates of interest.

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