If Central Banks wanted to make a positive impact on the global economy, they would abolish themselves and let the free market set rates.

Instead, and after pursuing a 2% inflation target for decades, central bankers now ponder the need for even higher rates of inflation.

Rethinking Made Worse

Please consider Rethinking the Widely Held 2% Inflation Target.

Inflation has finally returned to the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal after undershooting it for nearly five years. Now, just as the central bank has inflation where it wants it, economists and central bankers are starting to think the goal, and how it has been implemented in many places, was a mistake.

Spooked by inflation spikes during the 1970s and early 1980s, central bankers had come to view targets as a core tenet of sound monetary policy. In the 1990s and 2000s, many picked a 2% target, seeing it as not so high that it would disrupt business decisions and wage negotiations, and not so low that it would make interest rates unmanageable.

Today, after a long period of exceptionally low inflation and interest rates, central banks are talking about alternatives to rigid 2% targets. Many of these alternatives involve the option of letting inflation rise above 2% either permanently or for a time.

“This is one of those ideas that has moved from a crazy idea that no one would discuss to an idea that is being seriously discussed by important policy makers,” said Emi Nakamura, an economist at Columbia University.

The financial crisis and its aftermath shifted the consensus. Instead of high inflation, today’s central banks are confronted with aging populations, lower long-term growth and higher saving rates. Those all hold down the real natural interest rate—the equilibrium interest rate, adjusted for inflation, that keeps borrowing, lending and the broader economy in balance.

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