Mr Putin and the Chronicle of a Normalisation Foretold

Over a decade after we entered the period of ultra-low or unconventional monetary policies, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has helped to jolt policy rates back into historically recognisable territory. This paper explores why it was this invasion that finally led to the reversal of global rates back to historic norms.

Pub. Date
03 August, 2023
Pub. Type
Glass globe on business oaoer

Major central banks have been caught in a low interest rate trap for over a decade. The temporary response to the financial crisis of 2008-9 has become something of a regime. The Federal Reserve, for example, attempted to ease quantitative easing in 2013 but this stalled following the “taper tantrum” and commenced a normalisation in the Federal Funds rate from 2015 but during Covid major central banks around the world rapidly returned policy rates to around zero. Low policy rates have been the response to tighter credit conditions, excessive global savings, low levels of investment and fiscal consolidation. But they have also played a role in propelling asset price growth and increasing levels of indebtedness. The accommodative stance in monetary policy, as well as the impetus from previous monetary and fiscal interventions seem like to have stoked inflation to a higher level that might otherwise have been the case following the shock of a war on the European continent. But may also have finally secured a normalisation in policy rates.