Florin Bilbiie, Gauti Eggertsson, Giorgio Primiceri, 01 March 2021

How the US economy will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic hinges in part on what will happen to the large amount of ‘excess savings’ that US households have accumulated since last March. This column argues that, in fact, these savings are not that excessive when considered against the backdrop of the unprecedented government interventions adopted over the past year in support of households, and that they are unlikely to generate a surge in demand post-pandemic.  

Jean-Pierre Landau, 08 February 2021

The fiscal stimulus pushed by the new US administration – much larger that the remaining output gap – has recently triggered a new and fascinating debate on the risk of inflation. This column argues, however, that the focus on short-term imbalances may obscure the long-term risk of fiscal dominance. This points to the need for a new, revitalised approach to central bank independence which would aim less at solving the time-inconsistency problem (eliminating the incentive to cheat) and more on preserving central banks’ unconstrained ability to act and avoid fiscal dominance in the future.

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