Welcome to the toughest job in central banking

16 Feb 2023 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

Kazuo Ueda is set to become the next Bank of Japan chief. Apparently he wasn't the first choice for a job that, according to Bloomberg, is so challenging it may have deterred others from applying.

Anybody who thinks Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has a difficult job should spare a thought for Kazuo Ueda, nominated as the next governor of the Bank of Japan. Until recently, despite decades of fiscal and monetary stimulus, Japan's inflation rate had long been stuck below the central bank's 2% target. The pandemic and its aftermath have given prices a strong push, but forecasts say this won't last. The path to normal economic policy isn't yet in sight - and in the meantime the new governor must grapple with the legacy of those earlier extraordinary interventions.

Ueda, though eminently qualified, reportedly wasn't the government's first choice. When you consider the scale of the challenge, it's easy to see why others didn't want the job.

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