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MARTIN Gets a Bank Account: Adding a Banking Sector to the RBA's Macroeconometric Model


  • Anthony Brassil

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Mike Major

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Peter Rickards

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)


We add a simplified banking sector to the RBA's macroeconometric model (MARTIN). How this banking sector interacts with the rest of the economy chiefly depends on the extent of loan losses. During small downturns, losses are absorbed by banks' profits and the resulting effect on the broader economy is limited to that caused by the lower shareholder returns (which is already part of MARTIN). During large downturns, loan losses reduce banks' capital, and banks respond by reducing their credit supply. This reduction in supply reduces housing prices, wealth and investment; thereby amplifying the downturn (which leads to further losses). Our state-dependent approach is a significant advance on the treatment of financial sectors within existing macroeconometric models. Having a banking sector in MARTIN allows us to explore important policy questions. In this paper, we show how the effectiveness of monetary policy depends on the state of the economy. During large downturns, monetary policy is more effective than usual because it can reduce loan losses and therefore moderate any reduction in credit supply. But at low interest rates, the zero lower bound on retail deposit interest rates reduces policy effectiveness. We also investigate how one of the more pessimistic economic scenarios that could have resulted from COVID-19 might have affected the banking sector, and subsequently amplified the resulting downturn.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Brassil & Mike Major & Peter Rickards, 2022. "MARTIN Gets a Bank Account: Adding a Banking Sector to the RBA's Macroeconometric Model," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2022-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2022-01
    DOI: 10.47688/rdp2022-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Brassil, 2022. "The Consequences of Low Interest Rates for the Australian Banking Sector," RBA Annual Conference Papers acp2022-04, Reserve Bank of Australia, revised Dec 2022.
    2. Nicholas Garvin & Samuel Kurian & Mike Major & David Norman, 2022. "Macrofinancial Stress Testing on Australian Banks," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2022-03, Reserve Bank of Australia.

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    More about this item


    banking; financial accelerator; macroeconomic model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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