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Has the Financial Crisis Permanently Changed the Practice of Monetary Policy? Has It Changed the Theory of Monetary Policy?

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  • Benjamin M. Friedman

Abstract

I argue in this paper that one of the two forms of hitherto unconventional monetary policy that many central banks have implemented in response to the 2007 financial crisis - large-scale asset purchases, or to put the matter more generically, use of the central bank's balance sheet as a distinct tool of monetary policy - is likely to become part of the standard toolkit of monetary policymaking in normal times as well. As intended, these purchases have lowered long-term interest rates relative to short-term rates, and lowered interest rates on more-risky compared to less-risky obligations. Moreover, their introduction fills a conceptual vacuum that has long stood at the heart of monetary policy analysis and implementation. By contrast, forward guidance on the future trajectory of monetary policy has been less successful. Public statements by central banks about their actions and intentions will no doubt continue, but transparency for the sake of transparency is not the same as the deliberate attempt to shape market expectations for purposes of achieving specific monetary policy objectives. Finally, there is a conceptual component to all this as well. In contrast to the last century or more of monetary theory, which has focused on central banks' liabilities, the basis for the effectiveness of central bank asset purchases turns on the role of the asset side of the central bank's balance sheet. The implications for monetary theory are profound.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin M. Friedman, 2014. "Has the Financial Crisis Permanently Changed the Practice of Monetary Policy? Has It Changed the Theory of Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 20128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2013. "The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 311-328, October.
    2. Friedman, Benjamin Morton, 2013. "The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach," Scholarly Articles 14117757, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2013. "The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach," NBER Working Papers 18960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. La crise mondiale a-t-elle changé à jamais la politique monétaire ?
      by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-07-01 04:59:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Turner, 2016. "Macroprudential policies, the long-term interest rate and the exchange rate," BIS Working Papers 588, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Jhuvesh Sobrun & Philip Turner, 2015. "Bond markets and monetary policy dilemmas for the emerging markets," BIS Working Papers 508, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Roberto Tamborini, 2017. "Europe at the Interdependence War," EconPol Working Paper 2, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. Maciej Ryczkowski, 2015. "Ewolucja pogladow Miltona Friedmana, a ocena polityki pienieznej Fed i EBC w okresie kryzysu finansowego," Working Papers 168/2015, Institute of Economic Research, revised Dec 2015.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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