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Japan's Negative Risk Premium in Interest Rates: The Liquidity Trap and the Fall in Bank Lending

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  • Rishi Goyal

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Ronald McKinnon
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    Abstract

    Japan's interest rates have been compressed toward zero because of pressure coming through the foreign exchanges. Twenty years of current-account surpluses have led to a huge buildup of claims - mainly dollars - on foreigners. Because of ongoing fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate, Japanese financial institutions will only willingly hold these dollar claims if the nominal yield on them is substantially higher than on yen assets. In the 1990s to 2002 as US interest rates have come down, portfolio equilibrium has been sustained only when nominal interest rates on yen assets have been forced toward zero. One consequence is the now infamous liquidity trap for Japanese monetary policy. A second consequence is the erosion of the normal profit margins of Japan's commercial banks, leading to a slump in new bank credit and an inability to grow out of the overhang of old bad loans. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (03)
    Pages: 339-363

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:26:y:2003:i:3:p:339-363

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    Cited by:
    1. Gunther Schnabl & Christian Danne, 2007. "A Role Model for China? Exchange Rate Flexibility and Monetary Policy in Japan," CESifo Working Paper Series 2051, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The Return to Soft Dollar Pegging in East Asia. Mitigating Conflicted Virtue," International Finance 0406007, EconWPA, revised 07 Jul 2004.
    3. Auerbach, Alan J. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2004. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt1dn4d9sr, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Loeffler, Axel & Schnabl, Gunther & Schobert, Franziska, 2013. "Limits of monetary policy autonomy and exchange rate flexibility by East Asian central banks," Working Papers 122, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
    5. Schnabl, Gunther, 2005. "Der Festkurs als merkantilistische Handelspolitik : Chinas Währungs- und Geldpolitik im Umfeld globaler Ungleichgewichte," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 291, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
    6. Rod Tyers, 2012. "Looking Inward for Transformative Growth in China," CAMA Working Papers 2012-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Gunther Schnabl, 2012. "Die japanischen Lehren für die europäische Krise," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-36, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. Eric Hillebrand & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The Effects of Japanese Foreign Exchange Intervention, GARCH Estimation and Change Point Detection," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 7, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    9. Andreas Hoffmann & Gunther Schnabl, 2014. "Monetary Policies of Large Industrialised Countries, Emerging Market Credit Cycles and Feedback Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4723, CESifo Group Munich.

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