reuters.com / By FRANKFURT / January 21, 2013
Jan 21 (Reuters) – Loading central banks with more tasks and pressing them to pursue more aggressive monetary policies could risk a round of competitive devaluations, European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Monday, citing pressure on the Bank of Japan.
Weidmann is the latest in a string of policymakers worldwide to warn of the threat of a “currency war” as central banks pump out cash to support their economies, reducing their value in the process.
He said the pressure that Japan’s new government has put on the BOJ to deliver bolder monetary easing endangered the central bank’s independence, as did the actions of Hungary’s government.
“Already alarming violations can be observed, for example in Hungary or Japan, where the new government is interfering massively in the business of the central bank with pressure for a more aggressive monetary policy and threatening an end to central bank autonomy.”
“A consequence, whether intentional or unintentional, could moreover be an increased politicisation of exchange rates,” the Bundesbank chief, who also sits on the ECB’s Governing Council, said in a speech at a Deutsche Boerse New Year’s event.