Monetary policy

Gauti Eggertsson, Ragnar Juelsrud, Ella Getz Wold, 31 January 2018

Economists disagree on the macroeconomic role of negative interest rates. This column describes how, due to an apparent zero lower bound on deposit rates, negative policy rates have so far had very limited impact on the deposit rates faced by households and firms, and this lower bound on the deposit rate seems to be causing a decline in pass-through to lending rates as well. Negative interest rates thus appear ineffective in stimulating aggregate demand.

Thomas Hasenzagl, Filippo Pellegrino, Lucrezia Reichlin, Giovanni Ricco, 15 January 2018

The ECB's Survey of Professional Forecasters supports the ECB’s view that inflation in the Eurozone will pick up and will be back within the central bank's target range in 2019.  This column disagrees.  Using a model that formalises the widely held view that inflation dynamics are a function of three components – long-term expectations, the Phillips curve, and oil price movement – it forecasts Eurozone inflation in 2019 at only 1.1%, a rate which is close to that implied by the bond markets.

Maurice Obstfeld, Romain Duval, 10 January 2018

The widespread and persistent productivity slowdown witnessed since the Global Crisis had already begun in advanced and low-income countries prior to the crisis. This column argues that the crisis amplified the slowdown by creating ‘productivity hysteresis’, and that monetary policy played an ambiguous role. Policymakers must now address the legacies of the crisis through innovation, education policies, and structural reforms.

Luis Brandao-Marques, Gaston Gelos, 21 December 2017

Some have speculated that the rise in nonbank financing has weakened the transmission mechanism of monetary policy. This column used international data to investigate this claim. Overall, the evidence suggests that nonbanks tend to respond more strongly to monetary policy than banks. Although monetary policy remains potent in an environment with more nonbank intermediation, it will need to continuously adapt to changes in the transmission mechanism.

Emmanuel Farhi, Matteo Maggiori, 20 December 2017

The US has been leveraging itself in recent decades, piling up public and external debt – a trend that could jeopardise the special position the dollar occupies in the international monetary system. This column argues that the US is risking another ‘Triffin’ event, in the form of a confidence crisis and a run on the dollar. The current situation echoes that of the UK in the 1920s and the US in the 1960s. The crises that ended both episodes marked dramatic turning points in the history of the international monetary system.

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