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Is Monetary Policy Effective During Financial Crises?

  • Frederic S. Mishkin

This short paper argues that the view that monetary policy is ineffective during financial crises is not only wrong, but may promote policy inaction in the face of a severe contractionary shock. To the contrary, monetary policy is more potent during financial crises because aggressive monetary policy easing can make adverse feedback loops less likely. The fact that monetary policy is more potent than during normal times provides a rationale for a risk-management approach to counter the contractionary effects from financial crises, in which monetary policy is far less inertial than would otherwise be typical -- not only by moving decisively through conventional or nonconventional means to reduce downside risks from the financial disruption, but also in being prepared to quickly take back some of that insurance in response to a recovery in financial markets or an upward shift in inflation risks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14678.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14678.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Publication status: published as Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Is Monetary Policy Effective during Financial Crises?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 573-77, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14678
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gary B. Gorton, 2008. "The Panic of 2007," NBER Working Papers 14358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Noah Williams & Andrew Levin & Alexei Onatski, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 478, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," Working Papers 94-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 93-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bernanke, B. & Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," Working Papers 98-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Gorton, Gary B., 2008. "The panic of 2007," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 131-262.
  8. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  11. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2007. "Inflation Dynamics," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 317-334, December.
  12. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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