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Is Monetary Policy Effective during Financial Crises?

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  • Frederic S. Mishkin

Abstract

This short paper argues that the view that monetary policy is ineffective during financial crises is not only wrong, but may promote policy inaction in the face of a severe contractionary shock. To the contrary, monetary policy is more potent during financial crises because aggressive monetary policy easing can make adverse feedback loops less likely. The fact that monetary policy is more potent than during normal times provides a rationale for a risk-management approach to counter the contractionary effects from financial crises, in which monetary policy is far less inertial than would otherwise be typical -- not only by moving decisively through conventional or nonconventional means to reduce downside risks from the financial disruption, but also in being prepared to quickly take back some of that insurance in response to a recovery in financial markets or an upward shift in inflation risks.
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Suggested Citation

  • Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Is Monetary Policy Effective during Financial Crises?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 573-577, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:2:p:573-77
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.2.573
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
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    4. Gary Gorton, 2008. "The Panic of 2007," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2372, Yale School of Management.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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