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クレムノロジーと中央銀行ウォッチ

 クレムノロジーという研究分野があった。ソ連のクレムリンに並ぶ指導者の序列や、死亡公告や曖昧な政府発表からクレムリンにおける政治力学を推測する研究だった。
 FedやECB、そして日銀の政策の予想も、クレムノロジーに近くなっていく側面がある。中央銀行の決定に際しては、秘密が重視されるからだ。しかしながら、民主主義・共和主義の根幹であるtransparencyを確保するためには、情報公開が重要となる。また、何ら市場関係者に事前の期待を持たせなかった驚きは、時には逆効果を生むこともある。しかし、期待への働きかけを目標とする場合には驚きを与えないと、望むべき期待を市場に形成できないかもしれない。かくして、中央銀行はcommunication strategyに苦労することになる。
 現在のFedも将来の金利上げについて呻吟しているところで、Wall Street Journalにおいては、Fed担当記者であるGreg Ipが細かくフォローしているところだ("Fed Internal Debates May Heat Up"(WSJはsubscriptionが必要))。

The divergence of views appears unlikely to tip the Fed toward raising interest rates soon. Despite confidence that a "vigorous expansion was now firmly established," officials preferred to "take risks on the side of assuring rapid elimination of economic slack." With recent disappointing job growth, the Fed is still more likely to err on the side of keeping rates too low for too long.

However, should employment pick up in coming months, Chairman Alan Greenspan may face problems steering a monetary course that satisfies all his colleagues. That was reflected in his testimony to Congress last month, in which he warned both of "risks that could threaten the sustainability of the expansion" and the risks that interest rates could be "improperly calibrated" for a strengthening economy.

At their January meeting, Fed officials also discussed at length their communications strategy, prompted in part by controversy over "considerable period." Officials debated whether to ditch their assessment of the "balance of risks" in the statement that follows each meeting, or to strip the statement down to boilerplate choices, but rejected both options. Instead, they decided to adjust their statement and the balance of risks "gradually over time in keeping with evolving economic conditions."

Officials also considered whether to release minutes just a few weeks after each meeting rather than waiting until after the subsequent meeting. But some feared early release would "feed back adversely" on their deliberations and the quality of the minutes themselves. Early release may be revisited at some point; the Fed's staff is still studying the issue.

 翻って、日銀であるが、3月19日発表の2月4,5日分の金融政策決定会合議事要旨についても、興味深い点がある。

V.当面の金融政策運営に関する委員会の検討の概要

 当面の金融政策運営について、委員は、前述のような経済金融情勢判断の下、現在の「30~35兆円程度」という当座預金残高目標を維持することが適当であるとの認識を共有した。

 何人かの委員は、前回の会合で決定した当座預金残高の引き上げの影響を注意深く見守っていくことが適当との認識を示した。

 会合では、1月に決定した追加緩和措置の影響等を巡って、意見交換が行われた。

 前回決定した措置について、多くの委員は、やや長めの金利がさらに安定化したほか、デフレ克服に向けての日本銀行の強い意思が理解され、企業のマインド面にも相応の好影響を与えているようである、との見方を示した。ひとりの委員は、銀行券の伸びが低下する中、マネタリーベースの安定的な伸びを確保することにも寄与していると述べた。また、別の委員は、当座預金という量の拡大と短期金利の関係について、二つの見方があり得ることを指摘した。一つは、短期金融市場の機能低下による潜在的な金利の振れが、当座預金の拡大によって安定化した可能性であり、もう一つは、ターム物のオペの増加によって、ターム物の金利が安定化している可能性がある、との整理を行った。この間、ある委員は、為替市場介入のさらなる増加などによって、日本銀行の資金供給オペが減少するのではないかとの市場の不安感が引き続きある点に注意が必要であると付け加えた。

 これに対して、ある委員は、市場の資金余剰感が強まっているほか、市場がデフレ対策として一定の効果があると受け止めれば、むしろ時間軸は短くなる可能性があったが、足許そういった動きはみられていないと述べた。

 1月の措置の狙いについては、複数の委員から、市場関係者等から措置の目的・狙いが分かり難いとの批判があり、このため様々な解釈がなされているのは、金融政策の透明性の観点からも望ましくない、との指摘がなされた。

 これに対して、別の複数の委員は、株式市場・為替市場などでは、特にサプライズと受け止められていないのではないかと述べた。何人かの委員は、量的緩和は歴史上異例な政策のため、その効果や波及メカニズムは通常の金利による政策運営とは異なっており、このことが分かり難さに帰着しているのではないかと述べた。また、何人かの委員は、展望レポートにおける標準シナリオはあくまでもその時点で蓋然性が高い予想であって理想のシナリオではなく、このため経済が標準シナリオに沿っていても政策対応の可能性があるということであり、この点、引き続き丁寧な説明が必要と指摘した。

 この間、ある委員は、市場参加者等の間で、為替円高や長期金利への金融政策面からの直接的な対応が求められるようになると、先行きの金融政策運営に支障をきたす可能性もあるため、こうした過度の期待を生むような情報発信は避ける必要があるとの意見を述べた。

 報道されたのは、上記下線部分(下線を引いたのはは私)である。デフレ脱却のための「期待への働きかけ」が重要であるこの局面においては、デフレ払拭への「驚き」は、期待への働きかけを強化する意味では重要となろう。

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