Central bank independence: monetary policies in selected jurisdictions (III)
A sufficient and appropriate degree of central bank independence is widely acknowledged to be necessary for the goal of achieving price stability. However, despite the levels of independence claimed to be enjoyed by several central banks, recent events indicate shifts in focus of monetary policy objectives by various prominent central banks. The impact of political and government influences on central banks' monetary policies has been evidenced from the recent financial crisis – and in several jurisdictions. Many central banks have adjusted monetary policies having been influenced by political pressures which have built up as a result of the recent crises. However such lack of absolute independence (from political spheres) could prove symbiotic in the sense that, despite the need for a certain degree of independence from political interference, certain events which are capable of devastating consequences, namely, a drastic disruption of the system's financial stability, need to be responded to as quickly and promptly as possible. Is it possible for a central bank with absolute independence to operate effectively – particularly given the close links between many central banks and their Treasury in several countries? It may be inferred that central banks' crucial roles in establishing a macro prudential framework provide the key to bridging the gap between macro economic policy and the regulation of individual financial institutions. This however, on its own, is insufficient – close collaboration and effective information sharing between central banks and regulatory authorities is paramount.
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