A descriptive analysis of the balance sheet and monetary policy of De Nederlandsche Bank: 1900-1998 and beyond
This paper investigates developments in the balance sheet and monetary policy of De Nederlandsche Bank in the period 1900-1998. We find that - given the institutional framework which is applicable - the composition of DNB's balance sheet is to a large extent endogenous to monetary and financial-economic conditions. Historically, the Bank's implementation of monetary policy was geared primarily towards the market for foreign exchange and the Dutch banking sector. However, it has not been uncommon for the Bank to also hold a portfolio of government bonds for monetary policy purposes. Our analysis suggests that monetary policy, its instruments and intermediate targets should not be viewed as fixed and unalterable concepts. Changing conditions and relations within the economy may warrant or even require innovations in the monetary policymakers' toolbox. Clear communication is important to manage expectations on what can and cannot be expected from conventional and (previously) less conventional monetary policy measures.
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