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When capital adequacy and interest rate policy are substitutes (and when they are not)

  • Stephen G Cecchetti
  • Marion Kohler

Prudential instruments are commonly seen as the tools that can be used to deliver the macroprudential policy goals of reducing the frequency and severity of financial crises. And interest rates are traditionally viewed as the means to deliver the macroeconomic stabilisation goals of low, stable inflation and sustainable, stable growth. But, at the macroeconomic level, these two sets of policy tools have quite a bit in common. We use a simple macroeconomic model to study the extent to which capital adequacy requirements and interest rates might be substitutes in meeting the objective of stabilising the economy. We find that in our model both are substitutes for achieving conventional monetary policy objectives. In addition, we show that, in principle, they can both be used to meet financial stability objectives. This implies a need to coordinate the use of macroprudential and traditional monetary policy tools, a need that has clear implications for the construction of the policy framework designed to deliver the joint objectives of macroeconomic and financial stability.

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Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 379.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:379
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  1. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Working Papers 95-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Stan du Plessis & Gideon du Rand, 2011. "On the (non-)equivalence of capital adequacy and monetary policy: A response to Cechetti and Kohler," Working Papers 04/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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