Monetary Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis: New Challenges and Lessons: Volume 24
Table of contents(23 chapters)
List of Contributors
Editorial Advisory Board Members
This chapter attempts to analyze mainly the interactions between the implementation of inflation targeting (IT) policy and performance in the conduct of economic policies (fiscal and exchange rate) in emerging countries. More precisely, empirical studies conducted in this chapter aim to apprehend the feedback effect of this strategy of monetary policy on the budget deficit and volatility of exchange rate performance. This said, we consider the institutional framework as endogenous to IT and analyze the response of authorities to the adoption of this monetary regime. To do this, the retained methodological path in this chapter is an empirical way, based on the econometrics of panel data. First, our contribution to the existing literature is to evaluate the time-varying treatment effect of IT’s adoption on the budget deficit of emerging inflation targeters, using the propensity score matching approach. Our empirical analysis, conducted on a sample of 34 economies (13 IT and 21 non-IT economies) for the period from 1990 to 2010, show a significant impact of IT on the reduction of budget deficit in emerging countries having adopted this monetary policy framework. Therefore, we can say that the emerging government can benefit ex post and gradually from a decline in their public deficits. Retaining the same econometric approach and sample, we tried secondly to empirically examine whether the adoption of IT in emerging inflation targeters has been effectively translated by an increase in the nominal effective exchange rate volatility compared to non-IT countries. Our results show that this effect is decreasing and that this volatility is becoming less important after the shift to this monetary regime. We might suggest that this indirect and occasional intervention in the foreign exchange market can be made by fear of inflation rather than by fear of floating hence in most emerging countries that have adopted the IT strategy. Finally, we can say that our conclusions corroborate the literature of disciplining effects of IT regime on fiscal policy performance as well as the two controversial effects of IT on the nominal effective exchange rate volatility.
Careful Price Level Targeting
This chapter examines a class of interest rate rules that respond to public expectations and to lagged variables. Varying levels of commitment correspond to varying degrees of response to lagged output and targeting of the price level. If the response rises (unintentionally) above the optimal level, the outcome deteriorates severely. Hence, the optimal level of commitment is sensitive to the method of expectations formation and partial commitment is the robust, optimal policy. The policymaker should adjust the price level toward a target, but complete adjustment is neither necessary nor desirable.
The aim of this chapter is to explore whether price dynamics is homogenous across Emerging Europe. We employ dynamic panel estimation techniques (including the Pooled Mean Group estimator of Pesaran, Smith, and Shin) over the 2003–2013 period and use Germany, and respectively, the European Union (EU) as the references. Results highlight some heterogeneity across the Emerging Europe members in terms of price convergence speed. Findings are robust across different specifications.
The global slack hypothesis is central to the discussion of the trade-offs that monetary policy faces in an increasingly more integrated world. The workhorse New Open Economy Macro (NOEM) model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010), which fleshes out this hypothesis, shows how expected future local inflation and global slack affect current local inflation. In this chapter, I propose the use of the orthogonalization method of Aoki (1981) and Fukuda (1993) on the workhorse NOEM model to further decompose local inflation into a global component and an inflation differential component. I find that the log-linearized rational expectations model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010) can be solved with two separate subsystems to describe each of these two components of inflation.
I estimate the full NOEM model with Bayesian techniques using data for the United States and an aggregate of its 38 largest trading partners from 1980Q1 until 2011Q4. The Bayesian estimation recognizes the parameter uncertainty surrounding the model and calls on the data (inflation and output) to discipline the parameterization. My findings show that the strength of the international spillovers through trade – even in the absence of common shocks – is reflected in the response of global inflation and is incorporated into local inflation dynamics. Furthermore, I find that key features of the economy can have different impacts on global and local inflation – in particular, I show that the parameters that determine the import share and the price-elasticity of trade matter in explaining the inflation differential component but not the global component of inflation.
This chapter analyzes the exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) into different prices for 12 euro area (EA) countries. We provide new up-to-date estimates of ERPT by paying attention to either the time-series properties of data and variables endogeneity. Using VECM framework, we examine the pass-through at different stages along the distribution chain, that is, import prices, producer prices, and consumer prices. When carrying out impulse response functions analysis, we find a higher pass-through to import prices with a complete pass-through (after one year) detected for roughly half of EA countries. These estimates are relatively large compared to single-equation literature. We denote that the magnitude of the pass-through of exchange rate shocks declines along the distribution chain of pricing, with the modest effect recorded for consumer prices. When assessing for the determinant of cross-country differences in the ERPT, we find that inflation level, inflation volatility, and exchange rate persistence are the main macroeconomic factors influencing the pass-through almost along the pricing chain. Thereafter, we have tested for the decline of the response of consumer prices across EA countries. According to multivariate time-series Chow test, the stability of ERPT coefficients was rejected, and the impulse responses of consumer prices over 1990–2010 provide an evidence of general decline in rates of pass-through in most of the EA countries. Finally, using the historical decompositions, our results reveal that external factors, that is, exchange rate and import prices shocks, have had important inflationary impacts on inflation since 1999 compared to the pre-EMU period.
The recent financial and sovereign debt crises around the world have sparked a growing literature on models and empirical estimates of defaultable debt. Frequently households and firms come under default threat, local governments can default, and recently sovereign default threats were eminent for Greece and Spain in 2012–2013. Moreover, Argentina experienced an actual default in 2001. What causes sovereign default risk, and what are the escape routes from default risk? Previous studies such as Arellano (2008), Roch and Uhlig (2013), and Arellano et al. (2014) have provided theoretical models to explore the main dynamics of sovereign defaults. These models can be characterized as threshold models in which there is a convergence toward a good no-default equilibrium below the threshold and a default equilibrium above the threshold. However, in these models aggregate output is exogenous, so that important macroeconomic feedback effects are not taken into account. In this chapter, we (1) propose alternative model variants suitable for certain types of countries in the EU where aggregate output is endogenously determined and where financial stress plays a key role, (2) show how these model variants can be solved through the Nonlinear Model Predictive Control numerical technique, and (3) present some empirical evidence on the nonlinear dynamics of output, sovereign debt, and financial stress in some euro areas and other industrialized countries.
This chapter investigates the predictability of the European monetary policy through the eyes of the professional forecasters from a large investment bank. The analysis is based on forward-looking Actual and Perceived Taylor Rules for the European Central Bank which are estimated in real-time using a newly constructed database for the period April 2000–November 2009. The former policy rule is based on the actual refi rate set by the Governing Council, while the latter is estimated for the bank’s economists using their main point forecast for the upcoming refi rate decision as a dependent variable. The empirical evidence shows that the pattern of the refi rate is broadly well predicted by the professional forecasters even though the latter have foreseen more accurately the increases rather than the policy rate cuts. Second, the results point to an increasing responsiveness of the ECB to macroeconomic fundamentals along the forecast horizon. Third, the rolling window regressions suggest that the estimated coefficients have changed after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in October 2008; the ECB has responded less strongly to macroeconomic fundamentals and the degree of policy inertia has decreased. A sensitivity analysis shows that the baseline results are robust to applying a recursive window methodology and some of the findings are qualitatively unaltered from using Consensus Economics forecasts in the regressions.
This chapter estimates a regime switching Taylor Rule for the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to investigate some potential nonlinearities in the forward-looking policy reaction function within a real-time framework. In order to compare observed and predicted policy behavior, the chapter estimates Actual and Perceived regime switching Taylor Rules for the ECB. The former is based on the refi rate set by the Governing Council while the latter relies on the professional point forecasts of the refi rate performed by a large investment bank before the upcoming policy rate decision. The empirical evidence shows that the Central Bank’s main policy rate has switched between two regimes: in the first one the Taylor Principle is satisfied and the ECB stabilizes the economic outlook, while in the second regime the Central Bank cuts rates more aggressively and puts a higher emphasis on stabilizing real output growth expectations. Second, the results point out that the professional forecasters have broadly well predicted the actual policy regimes. The estimation results are also robust to using consensus forecasts of inflation and real output growth. The empirical evidence from the augmented Taylor Rules shows that the Central Bank has most likely not responded to the growth rates of M3 and the nominal effective exchange rate and the estimated regimes are robust to including these additional variables in the regressions. Finally, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers the policy rate has switched to a crisis regime as the ECB has focused on preventing a further decline in economic activity and on securing the stability of the financial system.
Based on an uncertainty model with an infinite horizon, this chapter analyzes how financial development and monetary policy in two countries can impact international trade and capital flows and influence individual behavior and welfare. Our study shows that differences in capital market development are the major contributing factors for trade imbalance and investment among countries. We also find that monetary policies are important factors affecting the trade balance, consumption, and investment. Countries with one-sided, pegging exchange rate policies tend to buy more bonds and enjoy larger trade surpluses. This effect is closely related to the level of capital market development: in these two countries, at higher stages of development, the effects of idiosyncratic monetary policy on imbalance are amplified.
We test the determinacy properties of the standard and financial-sector-augmented Taylor rules in a new Keynesian model with a presence of banking activities. We extend the basic fully rational environment to the setting with heterogeneous expectations. We observe that the benefits from extra financial targeting are limited. Financial targeting, if well designed, can compensate for the improper output-gap targeting through the financial-production channel. The analysis demonstrates however possible threats resulting from the misspecification of the augmented rule. A determinate mix of output-gap and inflation weights can turn indeterminate if compensated by too extreme financial targeting. The results are robust to the presence of heterogeneous expectations.
The Taylor Rule’s Zero Lower Bound problem can be solved by pegging interest rates on longer-maturity loans than the 6 weeks implicit in the Fed’s current operating procedures. However, the Fed’s policy since 2008 of reducing the opportunity cost of excess reserves to zero (or even negative) has neutralized the stimulative effect of the Fed’s low interest rate policy. Eliminating interest on excess reserves would restore the effectiveness of monetary policy, but would require promptly unwinding the Fed’s “Quantatitve Easing” acquisitions.
It is argued that the Fed’s reaction function should contain no pure inertial terms, and that the “output gap” as originally conceived by Taylor is a statistical illusion. Although the unemployment gap is statistically meaningful, it is not clear that it should be directly included in the Taylor Rule unless it serves as a proxy for the equilibrium real interest rate.
This chapter proposes a comparative analysis of the monetary policies undertaken by the Federal Reserve Board and the European Central Bank after the 2008 subprime crisis. We point out the twin nature of the financial crises in Europe in comparison with the US crises: in addition to the role of bank funding, the euro area countries have also experienced a structural problem of balance of payment disequilibria. This explains why in the early stages of the subprime crisis, the Fed has succeeded in tackling the illiquidity problems facing the banking sector, while the ECB did not. The Fed could then focus on tackling the recession in the real sector by adopting quantitative easing policies to exert downward pressure on the long-term interest-rate. In the euro area quantitative easing policies came later, in 2013. Even the forward guidance policies have been different between the two central banks. Unlike the ECB, the Fed has gone through diverse forward guidance policies: qualitative, calendar-based, and state-contingent. The chapter proposes a new survey of the monetary policies after the subprime crisis by comparing two strategies in different contexts: the United States and the euro area.
Should the central bank target asset price inflation? In their 1999 paper Bernanke and Gertler claimed that price stability and financial stability are “mutually consistent objectives” in a flexible inflation targeting regime which “dictates that central banks … should not respond to changes in asset prices.” This conclusion is straightforward within their framework in which asset price inflation shows up as a factor “augmenting” the IS curve. In this chapter, we pursue a different modeling strategy so that, in the end, asset price dynamics will be incorporated into the NK Phillips curve. We put ourselves, therefore, in the best position to obtain a significant stabilizing role for asset price targeting. It turns out, however, that inflation volatility is higher in the asset price targeting case. After all, therefore, targeting asset prices may not be a good idea.
One of the main lessons of the recent financial crisis is that the network structure of the banking system has to be taken into account to assess systemic risk.
In this chapter, we analyze the topological properties of the network of the Euro Area banking sector with the primary aim of assessing the importance of a bank in the financial system with respect to ownership and control of other credit institutions.
The network displays power law distributions in both binary and weighted degree metrics indicating a robust yet fragile structure and a direct nexus between an increase of control diversification and a rise in the market power. Therefore, while in good time the network is seemingly robust, in bad times many banks can go into distress simultaneously. This behavior opens a narrow for Central bank’s actions. In particular, we investigate whether the Single Supervisory Mechanism introduced by the European Central Banks and based on banks’ total asset is a good proxy to quantify their systemic importance. Results indicate that not all the financial institutions with high value of total asset are systemically important but only few of them.
Finance Otherwise: The End of Banks?
Contrary to what its title might suggest, this chapter does not develop an alternative vision of finance. On the basis of the financial world as it currently operates, we propose to identify the paradoxes and the likely evolution of a banking and financial system evolving. Based on the facts, this chapter seeks to extend the discussions initiated in the last chapter, entitled “Socially responsible banks?” of our book “The management of the bank,” published by Vuibert editions. The frantic pace of innovation and the requirements of regulators encourage banks to review their organization and their governance. This chapter attempts to position the bank between two paradoxes: on one side, the crises have not made more responsible banks. The facts remain: rates and currency manipulation, embezzlement rules on bonuses, even if some are still under financial assistance of the United States. On the other hand, the “finance otherwise” innovates, disturbs, and upsets. Creative players such as collaborative funding or virtual currencies are not really threatening to the big banks. But in the past, marked by their personnel costs and infrastructure cannot meet the agility of these new entrants “crowdfunding,” and other online payment methods have backed the Web. These innovations really threaten banks that do not lack the resources to adapt. And if tomorrow, the banks no longer existed? Behavior changes and already a growing number of clients save, borrow, and lend the use of means of payment to settle their online purchases without using the services of traditional financial institutions! A certainty, “finance otherwise,” will play a stimulatory role. The speed and magnitude of change is such that it becomes necessary for banks and financial institutions to adapt to these new technologies to increase or simply maintain their business. Based on the facts, the chapter explores and analyzes the developments that may become sustainable for a banking system reluctant to lose the monopoly of the distribution of credit and means of payment. The “end of the banks,” is a “provocative” subject but insufficiently addressed in the economic literature.
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- International Symposia in Economic Theory and Econometrics
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- Emerald Publishing Limited
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