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QE in the future: the central bank's balance sheet in a financial crisis

Author

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  • Ricardo Reis

    () (Tel Aviv University
    London School of Economics (LSE)
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

Abstract

Analysis of quantitative easing (QE) typically focus on the recent past studying the policy's effectiveness during a financial crisis when nominal interest rates are zero. This paper examines instead the usefulness of QE in a future fiscal crisis, modeled as a situation where the fiscal outlook is inconsistent with both stable inflation and no sovereign default. The crisis can lower welfare through two channels, the first via aggregate demand and nominal rigidities, and the second via contractions in credit and disruption in financial markets. Managing the size and composition of the central bank's balance sheet can interfere with each of these channels, stabilizing inflation and economic activity. The power of QE comes from interest-paying reserves being a special public asset, neither substitutable by currency nor by government debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Reis, 2016. "QE in the future: the central bank's balance sheet in a financial crisis," Discussion Papers 1620, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1620
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    File URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Discussion-Papers/2016/CFMDP2016-20-Paper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben S. Bernanke, 2015. "The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9928-2, March.
    2. Cochrane, John H, 2001. "Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 69-116, January.
    3. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2004. "Conducting Monetary Policy at Very Low Short-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 85-90, May.
    4. Uribe, Martin, 2006. "A fiscal theory of sovereign risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1857-1875, November.
    5. McMahon, Michael & Peiris, Udara & Polemarchakis, Herakles, 2015. "Perils of quantitative easing," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 04, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    6. Gorton, Gary B., 2010. "Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199734153.
    7. Jens Hilscher & Alon Raviv & Ricardo Reis, 2014. "Inflating Away the Public Debt? An Empirical Assessment," NBER Working Papers 20339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Han Chen & Vasco Cúrdia & Andrea Ferrero, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Large‐scale Asset Purchase Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 289-315, November.
    9. Mark Gertler & Peter Karadi, 2013. "QE 1 vs. 2 vs. 3. . . : A Framework for Analyzing Large-Scale Asset Purchases as a Monetary Policy Tool," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(1), pages 5-53, January.
    10. Ben S. Bernanke, 2015. "Origins and Mission of the Federal Reserve," Introductory Chapters,in: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis Princeton University Press.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Escaping the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1030-1058, April.
    2. Reis, Ricardo, 2016. "Funding quantitative easing to target inflation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67883, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Ricardo Reis, 2016. "Can the Central Bank Alleviate Fiscal Burdens?," NBER Working Papers 23014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Donato Masciandaro, 2016. "More than the Human Appendix: Fed Capital and Central Bank Financial Independence," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1635, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. Favaretto, Federico & Masciandaro, Donato, 2016. "Doves, hawks and pigeons: Behavioral monetary policy and interest rate inertia," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 50-58.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    New-style central banks; Unconventional monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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