Following the Warsh Review, the recording, number, and timing of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meetings will change. This column argues that the recording may make the decision meeting more formal and could inhibit debate, although the eight-year gap before publishing transcripts ameliorates this concern. Having fewer MPC meetings is a good thing, and reduces ‘noise’ around monetary policy. The revised meeting schedule will not add to transparency and raises the risk of leaks and ‘news shocks’.
Charles Goodhart, 02 March 2015
Charles Wyplosz, 02 March 2015
The ECB has finally begun releasing the minutes of its policymaking meetings, something the world's major central banks have been doing since the 1990s. This column asks whether the publication of these minutes increases ECB transparency. While providing useful information on analysis at the ECB, the minutes lack the details on the actual discussions and the voting behaviour of committee members that the minutes of the Fed, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan provide. They thus constitute just the first step, albeit a very welcome one, towards ECB transparency.
Stephen Hansen, Michael McMahon, Andrea Prat, 20 June 2014
Central bank transparency is essential to democratic accountability. Central bankers often limit it – fearing its stifling effect on frank debate. Yet transparency may induce monetary policy committee members to be better prepared. This column discusses evidence showing that the ‘better prepared’ effect is important empirically. Exploiting a natural experiment in the Fed Open Market Committee in 1993 – and using computational linguistics tools to measure the impact of transparency on deliberation – the research shows that the net effect is a more informative deliberation process.