Money, Banking, and Financial Markets

Understand the principles, understand the future
 
Commentary

On January 22, the ECB crossed the Rubicon twice – but in opposite directions. In an effort to combat deflation and years of anemic growth, the central bank announced a sustained program of large-scale asset purchases. At the same time, it capped the amount of risk-sharing in the Eurosystem. Other central banks have done the first, but not the second.  And, while outright balance sheet expansion helped ease euro area financial conditions somewhat, the limit on risk-sharing works in the other direction. Rowing toward both shores at the same time doesn’t move a boat far or fast...

Interview with Donald Kohn

Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Member of the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England; former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Has the experience of the crisis changed your view of the central bank policy tool kit?

Vice Chairman Kohn: My answer is yes, to some extent. It changed my view on asset purchases. Before the crisis I was skeptical that asset purchases, particularly the possibility of U.S. Treasury bond purchases that we were talking about in the U.S. before the crisis, would have much effect. I thought that the Treasury market was extremely liquid and dominated by expectations about future Federal Reserve policy and other things, so that it would take massive purchases to change interest rates….

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... the site where you can learn about finance and economics. We provide commentary on events in the news and on questions of more lasting interest. Because the financial system is constantly evolving, our analysis is informed by a set of core principles: understand the principles, understand the future. The opening excerpts of our two most recent posts appear above. For prior posts, click on the Commentary link to the left, or on the month-by-month Archives to the right. Alternatively, if you are interested in a specific topic, use the tags.

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Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz
 

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