- Working Paper (18) (remove)
- Opting out of the great inflation: German monetary policy after the break down of Bretton Woods (2009)
- During the turbulent 1970s and 1980s the Bundesbank established an outstanding reputation in the world of central banking. Germany achieved a high degree of domestic stability and provided safe haven for investors in times of turmoil in the international financial system. Eventually the Bundesbank provided the role model for the European Central Bank. Hence, we examine an episode of lasting importance in European monetary history. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how the Bundesbank monetary policy strategy contributed to this success. We analyze the strategy as it was conceived, communicated and refined by the Bundesbank itself. We propose a theoretical framework (following Söderström, 2005) where monetary targeting is interpreted, first and foremost, as a commitment device. In our setting, a monetary target helps anchoring inflation and inflation expectations. We derive an interest rate rule and show empirically that it approximates the way the Bundesbank conducted monetary policy over the period 1975-1998. We compare the Bundesbank´s monetary policy rule with those of the FED and of the Bank of England. We find that the Bundesbank´s policy reaction function was characterized by strong persistence of policy rates as well as a strong response to deviations of inflation from target and to the activity growth gap. In contrast, the response to the level of the output gap was not significant. In our empirical analysis we use real-time data, as available to policy-makers at the time. JEL Classification: E31, E32, E41, E52, E58
- Lessons for monetary policy: what should the consensus be? (2011)
- This paper outlines important lessons for monetary policy. In particular, the role of inflation targeting, which was much acclaimed prior to the financial crisis and since then has not lost much of its endorsement, is critically reviewed. Ignoring the relation between monetary policy and asset prices, as is the case in this monetary policy approach, can lead to financial instability. In contrast, giving, inter alia, monetary factors a role in central banks’ policy decisions, as is done in the ECB’s encompassing approach, helps prevent these potentially harmful side effects and thus allows for fostering financial stability. Finally, this paper makes a case against increasing the central banks’ inflation target. JEL Classification: E44, E52, E58 Keywords: Inflation Targeting, Asset Prices, Financial Stability, ECB
- Der Weg aus der Krise : mehr Europa! Welches Europa? (2012)
- Vortrag im Rahmen der Weimarer Reden 11. März 2012: - Einführung - Was ist mit „Europa“ gemeint? - Europa als politisches Ziel - Integration über die Wirtschaft - Die Rolle der einheitlichen Währung - Dimensionen der Krise - Transferunion, Fiskalunion, Politische Union
- Challenges for monetary policy (2013)
- The financial crisis which started in 2007 has caused a tremendous challenge for monetary policy. The simple concept of inflation targeting has lost its position as state of the art. There is a debate on whether the mandate of a central bank should not be widened. And, indeed, monetary policy has been very accommodative in the last couple of years and central banks have modified their communication strategies by introducing forward guidance as a new policy tool. This paper addresses the consequences of these developments for the credibility, the reputation and the independence of central banks. It also comments on the recent debate among economists concerning the question whether the ECB's OMT program is compatible with its mandate.
- Monetary policy and balance sheet adjustment (2014)
- In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis that started in 2007, policymakers were forced to respond quickly and forcefully to a recession caused not by short-term factors, but rather by an over-accumulation of debt by sovereigns, banks, and households: a so-called “balance sheet recession.” Though the nature of the crisis was understood relatively early on, policy prescriptions for how to deal with its consequences have continued to diverge. This paper gives a short overview of the prescriptions, the remaining challenges and key lessons for monetary policy.
- Forward guidance: a new challenge for central banks (2014)
- n a contribution prepared for the Athens Symposium on “Banking Union, Monetary Policy and Economic Growth”, Otmar Issing describes forward guidance by central banks as the culmination of the idea of guiding expectations by pure communication. In practice, he argues, forward guidance has proved a misguided idea. What is presented as state of the art monetary policy is an example of pretence of knowledge. Forward guidance tries to give the impression of a kind of rule-based monetary policy. De facto, however, it is an overambitious discretionary approach which, to be successful, would need much more (or rather better) information than is currently available. In Issing's view, communication must be clear and honest about the limits of monetary policy in a world of uncertainty.
- A new paradigm for monetary policy? (2013)
- Keynote speech to Conference “Twenty Years of Transition – Experiences and Challenges”. Central Bank of Slovakia. Bratislava, 3 May 2013