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Tag Archives: Monetary Policy

Pandemic economics: the role of central banks and monetary policy

Below are the slides from my presentation at Beyond Covid on 12th June. The whole webinar can ve viewed here.The pandemic seems to me to resemble the "nuclear disaster" scenarios of my youth: hide in the bunker, then creep out when the immediate danger is over, only to find a world that is still dangerous and has fundamentally changed in unforeseeable ways. Rabbits hiding from a hawk is perhaps a kinder image, though hawks don't usually leave devastation in their wake. And I like rabbits. So...

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Here’s a Three-Step Plan to Take Back Control

The following article appeared on The Correspondent’s website on 17 April, 2020 With acknowledgement to HiltonT for the image of the President Steyn Gold Mine in Welkom, Orange Free State. I was born and grew up in a dusty, sparsely populated gold mining town on the bare and vast ‘veld’ of the Orange Free State, South Africa. As a child, my town’s dependence on the extraction of gold at a price fixed in Washington, opened my eyes to the architecture of the international...

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Ways & means of paying Government’s growing bills – financing or cashflow?

“The Bank has always held itself bound to the extent of its power to render the assistance required by the Treasury in any exigency and under any condition of the Money Market.” – James Currie, Governor of Bank of England, July 1885 to Lord Salisbury, Prime MinisterThe new agreement between Government and Bank of England to make the Government’s overdraft with the Bank (the Ways and Means Facility) open-ended has been characterised as direct “monetary financing” of...

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Bailey goes up an inflation blind alley – but what role for BoE ‘monetary financing’?

This post argues that the new Governor of the Bank of England is wrong to address the Bank’s role in the crisis through the prism of traditional ‘price stability targeting’. Rather, the Bank’s duty and task is to support the government’s economic (including fiscal) policies, and in particular - and in so doing - to act to protect the financial stability of the whole system. Actions to support the Bank’s monetary and financial stability objectives need to be integrated.On...

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Lessons to be learnt

This is the first of two posts on the current crisis by Professor Massimo Amato, of Bocconi University, Milan. Well before the health emergency is over, the coronavirus crisis has already begun to produce devastating effects on the economy. This happens not only because the only accepted strategy, that of a lockdown, involves a strong slowdown in economic activity, but because the exposure of the economic system to expectations is such that the medium-term effects are so...

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Bill Mitchell — The central bank independence myth continues

One of the enduring myths that mainstream macroeconomists and the politicians that rely on their lies to depoliticise their own unpopular actions continue to propagate is that of ‘central bank independence’. This is the claim that macroeconomic policy making improved in the ‘neoliberal’ era following the emergence of Monetarism because monetary policy was firmly in the hands of technocratic bankers who were not part of the political cycle. As such, they could make decisions based on...

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Inflation Is NOT The Most Significant Factor Determining Bond Prices — Brian Romanchuk

One of the pieces of pseudo-science that floats around in popular discussion of bonds is the belief that bond investors are deadly afraid of inflation. In particular, bonds "lose money" every time the Consumer Price Index rises -- which is most months, in most developed countries. As far as I can tell, this is the legacy of some Economics 101 textbook story that has been passed on from "expert" to "expert" over the decades. The correct answer is that nominal yields largely reflect the...

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Much Ado About Nothing

The Fed's interventions in the repo market are attracting considerable comment. A lot of people seem to think the Fed has embarked on another QE program without Congressional approval. And the usual suspects are complaining that the Fed is pumping up stock prices and debasing the dollar.  Stocks are indeed heading for the moon - though so is the dollar, which rather undermines those who think it is being debauched. But the Fed's interventions in the repo markets have nothing to do with stock...

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