Andrew Powell, 25 November 2017

The recent interest rate rise in the UK occurred despite negative economic news. This is not what conventional inflation-targeting policy would imply. This column argues that recent Latin American experience suggests the theory underlying inflation targeting may need to be reconsidered. Specifically, for small open economies, the role of the exchange rate and inflation expectations should be considered when deciding how to react. 

Maritta Paloviita, Markus Haavio, Pirkka Jalasjoki, Juha Kilponen, 24 October 2017

Price stability is an explicit target for the ECB, but the definition of the 2% target is less clear in its monetary policy stance over time. This column presents two alternative interpretations of the ECB’s definition of price stability. First, the ECB dislikes inflation rates above 2% more than rates below 2%. Second, the ECB’s policy responses to past inflation gaps are symmetric around a target of 1.6% to 1.7%. Out-of-sample predictions of the reaction function based on the second interpretation track well an estimated shadow interest rate during the zero lower bound period.

Maria Demertzis, Nicola Viegi, 28 June 2016

Both the Fed and the ECB have managed to remain credible since the Global Crisis, but their credibility levels have evolved differently. This column argues that since inflation in the US and the Eurozone has been similar in the past eight years, the difference in the way that credibility has evolved is the result of the different macroeconomic policy mixes applied.

Nick Ligthart, Ashoka Mody, 14 April 2016

Many claim that monetary policy has hit diminishing returns. They use that as an explanation for the slower economic growth and low inflation in the Eurozone. This column argues that the main problem is that the ECB acted late and with half-measures to the Global Crisis, which was seen as falling short of its promises. The real problem is thus not a lack of ammunition, but a lack of credibility.

Jeffrey Chwieroth, Jon Danielsson, 06 September 2013

Central banks frequently lead the macroprudential policy implementation. The hope is that their credibility in conquering inflation might rub off on macroprudential policy. This column argues the opposite. The fuzziness of the macroprudential agenda and the interplay of political pressures may undermine monetary policy.

Francisco de Castro, Javier Pérez, Marta Rodríguez, 12 November 2011

The recent huge revisions witnessed in Greek data have raised concerns also about the credibility of the EU’s fiscal data reporting system. This column argues that initially published fiscal-deficit figures tend to be to revised towards an increased deficit at subsequent publication dates, and that the proximity of elections and the business cycle explain data revisions. It says that the EU should strengthen the role of Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, in auditing individual countries’ fiscal accounts and encourage EU countries to adopt more stringent fiscal rules.

Paolo Manasse, 09 November 2011

UPDATED: Changes in the Italian government are driven by the country’s dire debt situation. This column, which updates a 31 October column that illustrated the unsustainability of Italian debt, argues that Berlusconi’s departure is necessary but far from sufficient. Drastic, but evenly distributed measures of consolidation and reform are necessary.

Guillermo de la Dehesa, 19 October 2007

Uneven supervision gave an edge to risk takers in some nations on the up side, but the pain is being felt all around Europe on the downside. To avoid future crises, all mortgage originators should be regulated, banks should have to retain their “equity” or first loss risk, the rating agencies should be more transparent and independent, and Europe’s coordination failure among national supervisors should be fixed.

Michael Ehrmann, Marcel Fratzscher, Refet Gürkaynak, Eric Swanson, 17 September 2007

The authors of DP6456 focus on the extent to which monetary union has led to the integration of financial markets across the euro area, and in particular investigate the effects of two dimensions: the unification of bond markets, and the anchoring of long-run inflation expectations.

Olivier Blanchard, Francesco Giavazzi, 01 December 2005

Written in December 2005: No central bank, not even the ECB can focus exclusively on inflation. Adopting policy that allows it to consider economic activity would require the ECB to articulate its rationale with great care, but its British and American counterparts show how. Credibility does not require dogmatism, but rather clarity of purpose.

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