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Monetary Policy, the Financial Cycle and Ultra-low Interest Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Mikael Juselius

    (Bank of Finland)

  • Claudio Borio

    (Bank for International Settlements)

  • Piti Disyatat

    (Bank of Thailand)

  • Mathias Drehmann

    (Bank for International Settlements)

Abstract

Do the prevailing unusually and persistently low real interest rates reflect a decline in the natural rate of interest as commonly thought? We argue that this is only part of the story. The critical role of financial factors in influencing medium-term economic fluctuations must also be taken into account. Doing so for the United States yields estimates of the natural rate that are higher and, at least since 2000, decline by less. As a result, policy rates have been persistently and systematically below this measure. Moreover, we find that monetary policy, through the financial cycle, has a long-lasting impact on output and, by implication, on real interest rates. Therefore, a narrative that attributes the decline in real rates primarily to an exogenous fall in the natural rate is incomplete. The influence of monetary and financial factors should not be ignored. Exploiting these results, an illustrative counterfactual experiment suggests that a monetary policy rule that takes financial developments systematically into account during both good and bad times could help dampen the financial cycle, leading to higher output even in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikael Juselius & Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat & Mathias Drehmann, 2017. "Monetary Policy, the Financial Cycle and Ultra-low Interest Rates," PIER Discussion Papers 55, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Mar 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:pui:dpaper:55
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural Interest Rate; Financial Cycle; Monetary Policy; Credit; Business Cycle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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