Easy Money through the Back Door: The Markets vs. the ECB
AbstractThis paper assesses the performance of the European Central Bank (ECB) over the first two years of Europe's new policy regime. The verdict is that the ECB was not actually in charge, as the markets took over and imposed easy money on the euro zone. It is argued that the causes for the ECB's loss of effective control over the currency and monetary stance lie partly in the low-growth legacies of unsound macro policies inflicted upon Europe over the 1990s. The ECB made matters worse, though, first by failing to communicate effectively and coherently with financial market participants and, second, by playing against the markets' dominant theme: growth. This resulted in a time-inconsistency problem: attempts to prop up the euro through narrowing the current interest rate spread vis-�-vis the U.S. dollar were perceived as risking the euro zone's growth prospects and hence the sustainability of tighter money in the future. Under such conditions, interest rate hikes might then weaken rather than strengthen the currency. A more balanced and proactive attitude toward growth, and medium-term orientation as regards inflation, might have both reduced inflation in the short run and improved growth in the longer run. The recent short run of impressive GDP and employment growth spurred by easy money embarrasses the structural myth, and underlines that the ECB was not actually in charge.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_323.
Date of creation: Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Jörg Bibow, 2001. "On the 'Burden' of German Unification: The Economic Consequences of Messrs. Waigel and Tietmeyer," Macroeconomics 0106004, EconWPA.
- Jorg Bibow, 2003. "On the ‘burden’ of German unification," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(225), pages 137-169.
- Joerg Bibow, 2006. "Inflation Persistence and Tax-Push Inflation in Germany and in the Euro Area: A Symptom of Macroeconomic Mismanagement?," IMK Studies 01-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
- Jorg Bibow, 2003. "On the ‘burden’ of German unification," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(225), pages 137-169.
- Eckhard Hein, 2002.
"Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target,"
BNL Quarterly Review,
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 55(222), pages 299-337.
- Eckhard Hein, 2002. "Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 55(222), pages 299-337.
- Jörg Bibow, 2001. "Reflections on the Current Fashion For Central Bank Independence," Macroeconomics 0108004, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.