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Monetary policy, the financial cycle and ultralow interest rates

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  • Juselius, Mikael
  • Borio, Claudio
  • Disyatat, Piti
  • Drehmann, Mathias

Abstract

Do the prevailing unusually and persistently low real interest rates reflect a decline in the natural rate of interest as commonly thought? We argue that this is only part of the story. The critical role of financial factors in influencing medium-term economic fluctuations must also be taken into account. Doing so for the United States yields estimates of the natural rate that are higher and, at least since 2000, decline by less. As a result, policy rates have been persistently and systematically below this measure. Moreover, we find that monetary policy, through the financial cycle, has a long-lasting impact on output and, by implication, on real interest rates. Therefore, a narrative that attributes the decline in real rates primarily to an exogenous fall in the natural rate is incomplete. The influence of monetary and financial factors should not be ignored. Exploiting these results, an illustrative counterfactual experiment suggests that a monetary policy rule that takes financial developments systematically into account during both good and bad times could help dampen the financial cycle, leading to higher output even in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Juselius, Mikael & Borio, Claudio & Disyatat, Piti & Drehmann, Mathias, 2016. "Monetary policy, the financial cycle and ultralow interest rates," Research Discussion Papers 24/2016, Bank of Finland.
  • Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2016_024
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    Cited by:

    1. François Gourio & Anil K. Kashyap & Jae Sim, 2017. "The Tradeoffs in Leaning Against the Wind," NBER Working Papers 23658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Christophe Blot & Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2017. "Does monetary policy generate asset price bubbles ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2geqol5jud8, Sciences Po.
    4. repec:bis:bisqtr:1712e is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:moneco:v:90:y:2017:i:c:p:193-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Holston, Kathryn & Laubach, Thomas & Williams, John C., 2017. "Measuring the natural rate of interest: International trends and determinants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 59-75.
    7. repec:eee:ecmode:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:51-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mathias Drehmann & Mikael Juselius & Anton Korinek, 2017. "Accounting for debt service: the painful legacy of credit booms," BIS Working Papers 645, Bank for International Settlements.
    9. Enisse Kharroubi & Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2017. "Consumption-led expansions," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    10. Marcin Bielecki & Michał Brzoza-Brzezina & Marcin Kolasa & Krzysztof Makarski, 2017. "Could the boom-bust in the eurozone periphery have been prevented?," NBP Working Papers 263, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    11. Borio, Claudia & Disyatat, Piti & Juselius, Mikael & Rungcharoenkitkul, Phurichai, 2017. "Why so low for so long? A long-term view of real interest rates," Research Discussion Papers 36/2017, Bank of Finland.
    12. repec:pal:buseco:v:52:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s11369-017-0035-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bua, Giovanna & Trecroci, Carmine, 2016. "International Equity Markets Interdependence: Bigger Shocks or Contagion in the 21st Century?," MPRA Paper 74771, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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