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Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking

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  • Goodfriend, Marvin

Abstract

The paper contains a theoretical discussion of the role of secrecy in the implementation of monetary policy. It documents the Federal Reserve's defense of secrecy as argued in a recent Freedom of Information Act suit. The Federal Reserve's arguments are evaluated on the basis of economic theory. Theoretical papers related to the secrecy issue are reviewed. The discussion highlights a number of potential benefits and costs of central banking secrecy, and identifies some conditions under which secrecy could be socially beneficial.
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Suggested Citation

  • Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:17:y:1986:i:1:p:63-92
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    1. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-1070, December.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    3. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Inflation and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 530-538, June.
    4. Marvin Goodfriend, 1982. "A model of money stock determination with loan demand and a banking system balance sheet constraint," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 68(Jan), pages 3-16.
    5. Cornell, Bradford, 1983. "The Money Supply Announcements Puzzle: Review and Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 644-657, September.
    6. Michael Dotsey, 1985. "Monetary policy, secrecy, and federal funds rate behavior," Working Paper 85-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    7. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
    8. Gould, John P & Verrecchia, Robert E, 1985. "The Information Content of Specialist Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 66-83, February.
    9. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
    10. Acheson, Keith & Chant, John F, 1973. "Bureaucratic Theory and the Choice of Central Bank Goals," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 637-655, May.
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