The Reserve Equation and the Analytics of Pakistan’s Monetary Policy
This paper deals with the computation and analysis of some fundamental reserve aggregates and associated monetary statistics, which impart important information regarding the design and conduct of monetary policy at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Specifically, we compute the data series for borrowed, unborrowed, free, and drainable reserves using balance sheet data published by the SBP for the period 1985-2009. Results show that Pakistan’s monetary policy revolves around managing the exchange rate while using the t-bill rate as a key policy instrument. However, the value of the t-bill rate is both incorrectly and sub-optimally related to macroeconomic fundamentals rendering monetary policy time inconsistent. This hinges on the finding that, since 2000/01, the SBP has targeted the net free reserves of the banking system at 4 percent of total private deposits. Among other observations, we find that the scope of open market operations as a tool of monetary policy remains limited and that this limited role of open market defenses derives from the concern of the central bank to sterilize its own foreign exchange reserves. Furthermore, the growth rate of unborrowed plus drainable reserves bears a strong negative correlation with the annual average rate of inflation, which, on account of the former being consistently negative since 2005, implies that neither the government nor the SBP have an overriding concern for controlling inflation.
Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (Jan-Jun)
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