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Communicating Policy Options at the Zero Bound

  • Lukas Burkhard
  • Andreas M. Fischer

This paper examines a special episode in communication practices of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) when short-term interest rates reached the zero bound. A particular feature of SNB communication policy at the time was to talk openly about alternative policy instruments despite the fact that they were never implemented. Non-sterilized FX interventions were frequently mentioned as a potential instrument. We ask how did financial markets respond to the SNBs repeated references of non-sterilized interventions? The empirical results with high frequency data provide strong evidence that SNB intervention references depreciated the domestic currency for several hours. The case study supports the view that communication is an effective tool for monetary policy.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2007-12.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2007-12
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  1. Peiers, Bettina, 1997. " Informed Traders, Intervention, and Price Leadership: A Deeper View of the Microstructure of the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1589-1614, September.
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  5. Takatoshi Ito, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Japan: Why has the Bank of Japan not Adopted Inflation Targeting?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Diebold, Francis X. & Vega, Clara, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange," Working Papers 02-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  7. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, . "Is Sterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention Effective After All? An Event Study Approach," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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  14. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2002:i:nov21 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  16. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E., 2006. "When do central bank interventions influence intra-daily and longer-term exchange rate movements?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1051-1071, November.
  17. Andreas M. Fischer, 2005. "On the Inadequacy of Newswire Reports for Empirical Research on Foreign Exchange Interventions," Working Papers 2005-02, Swiss National Bank.
  18. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  19. Kathryn M.E. Dominguez & Freyan Panthaki, 2007. "The Influence of Actual and Unrequited Interventions," NBER Working Papers 12953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "On the long-term effectiveness of exchange rate communication and interventions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 146-167, February.
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  23. Rasmus Fatum & Jesper Pedersen, 2007. "Real-Time Effects of Central Bank Interventions in the Euro Market," EPRU Working Paper Series 07-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  24. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Were Verbal Efforts to Support the Euro Effective? A High-Frequency Analysis of ECB Statements," DNB Working Papers 033, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  25. Takatoshi Ito & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Two Decades of Japanese Monetary Policy and the Deflation Problem," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 131-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary policy alternatives at the zero bound: an empirical assessment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  27. Andreas M. Fischer, 2002. "Fluctuations in the Swiss Franc: What has Changed Since the Euro's Introduction?," Working Papers 02.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  28. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Strategies of exchange rate policy in G3 economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 68-74, October.
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