The financial cycle has ended up in a very deep financial crisis. Very low interest rates, ultra-low, even negative, policy rates epitomize this crisis; they have raised concerns about the global economy and  have triggered heated debates among economists, decision-makers. Central banks, especially those which set the tone in financial markets are under scrutiny taking the center-stage of debates. Top ECB officials cite structural conditions in the European and the world economy as an explanation for the very low interest rates. In essence, these conditions refer to the balance between investment and saving[1]. The IMF also got involved in the debate by saying that ultra-low rates (even negative) are not unjustified in the current context[2]. The BIS, instead, warns repeatedly about side-effects of non-standard measures.

All eyes in Europe are riveted on the migrants/refugees’ crisis, which has come as another major shock following the financial crisis and the euroarea troubles of recent years. The migrants/refugees’ crisis and the euroaria troubles have revealed the fragility of the Union, which, for many, is likely to be a shock in itself. More than worrying is the pretty low response capacity of the Union to such shocks. Can the Union pull itself together, can it reengineer itself? Below is a reading of the Union’s turmoil and avenues for policy action are outlined

In this paper we show that monetary policies aiming at inflation targeting could not unwind global imbalances in an orderly manner if the GDP level is at potential and growth rates equal potential rates in deficit countries. Instead, as long as output is below potential, easing monetary policies could result in bringing global imbalances to pre-crisis levels. This outcome depends on the state of domestic demand in surplus countries. In the particular case of constrained domestic demand in countries with excess savings, monetary policy easing could result in currency depreciation and, thus, in higher exports and even larger excess savings
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