monetary policy

The New Monetary Policy Revolution: Advice and Dissent

Central banks have undertaken a revolution in monetary policy. They reluctantly abandoned conventional wisdom designed to keep them out of political trouble. This paper looks at this revolution through the lens of the divergent perspectives of the IMF and the BIS. The Jeremiahs predicted this revolution would fail to reduce unemployment and lead only to financial ruin. The Jeremiahs were proved wrong on both counts. Radical whatever-it-takes monetary expansion rescued a depressed world economy. Regulatory reform kept financial risks in check.

Effects of asset purchases and financial stability measures on term premia in the euro area

We study the effects of the announcements of ECB asset purchases and of financial stability measures in the euro area in the wake of the global financial crisis and the euro area sovereign debt crisis on ten-year government bond term premia in eleven euro area countries. We find that the term premia of euro area countries with higher sovereign risk, as measured by sovereign CDS spreads, decreased more in response to the announcements of asset purchases and financial stability measures.

Unwinding: a tale of corridors and floors

I discuss six tools available to monetary policy makers. Three of these have been used since the inception of central banking.Three are new and were introduced in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. I argue that, when the UK Monetary Policy Committee raises the interest rate, it should maintain a large balance sheet that consists of both risky and safe assets.Further, the Bank should trade the risk composition of its balance sheet to promote the stability of asset prices.

The new art of central banking

This article outlines some of the intellectual lessons learnt by central bankers during the financial crisis. The key question is whether a broader range of policy options than simple inflation targeting has to be considered in order to limit instability. Interactions with overseas pools of savings, government debt markets and financial risk have all conspired to complicate significantly the task of monetary policymaking.

Negative interest rate policy as conventional monetary policy

As long as all interest rates move in tandem – including the rate of return on paper currency – economic theory suggests no important difference between interest rate changes in the positive region and interest rate changes in the negative region. Indeed, in standard models, only the real interest rate and spreads between real interest rates matter. Thus, in most respects, negative interest rate policy is conventional.

Unconventional monetary policy: introduction

The world’s four major central banks have turned to new forms of monetary policy to support demand during the Global Financial Crisis.¹ The conventional policy instrument of overnight interest rates was reduced to close to zero per cent within eighteen months of the crisis.² This presents a problem of providing further stimulus by lowering interest rates; if rates turn negative then depositors always have the option of holding wealth in cash at a zero interest rate. The option of holding cash is thought to create an effective floor on interest rates known as the zero lower bound (ZLB).

How should policy respond to the credit bust?

The August 2013 issue of the National Institute Economic Review, published on August 2nd, brings together new research by leading economists on the credit cycle - the expansion and contraction of access to credit over the course of the economic cycle. This is arguably the key challenge facing most major economies at present. The authors’ offer an enlightening menu of reforms – contrasting in some cases with the current UK approach.