Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

lee20_Spencer Platt_Getty Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Way Back for Monetary Policy

The central banks of major advanced economies have been navigating uncharted territory in recent years, deploying a range of unconventional monetary-policy tools that have had benefits, but have not stabilized the world economy. The time has now come to head back toward more familiar policy terrain.

SEOUL – The central banks of major advanced economies have been navigating uncharted territory in recent years. While their use of a range of unconventional monetary-policy tools has had benefits, it has also generated significant uncertainty, without fully stabilizing the world economy. Now the time has come to head back toward more familiar policy terrain.

Following the 2008 financial meltdown, the US Federal Reserve cut the policy rate to almost zero and pursued so-called quantitative easing (QE), by purchasing long-term securities from the public and private sectors. The central banks of the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom soon launched similar unconventional programs. The result was a vast amount of cheap liquidity that helped to stabilize the financial sector, restore stock and real-estate prices, and increase domestic demand. All of this helped to limit the fallout of the financial crisis and push the global economy toward recovery.

But this aggressive approach has its limits. Indeed, as Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has pointed out, after years of effort, the benefits of unconventional monetary policy are diminishing, while the costs are increasing. Recognizing this, the Fed ended QE at the end of last year and raised its policy rate by 25 basis points. The rate hikes will likely continue this year, though the speed and extent of the increases are uncertain.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/6cbcoOA;
  1. elerian122_Peter MacdiarmidGetty Images for Somerset House_bigdatascreentechman Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Somerset House

    Adapting to a Fast-Forward World

    Mohamed A. El-Erian

    The world is going through a period of accelerating change, as four secular developments illustrate. Firms and governments must make timely adjustments, not only to their business models and operational approaches, but also to both their tactical and strategic mindsets.

    9
  2. roubini137_Mikhail SvetlovGetty Images_xi putin Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

    The White Swans of 2020

    Nouriel Roubini

    Financial markets remain blissfully in denial of the many predictable global crises that could come to a head this year, particularly in the months before the US presidential election. In addition to the increasingly obvious risks associated with climate change, at least four countries want to destabilize the US from within.

    9

Edit Newsletter Preferences