- English (14) (remove)
- Center for Financial Studies (CFS) (14) (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
- Transcript of a hearing before members of the House of Lords (UK) in Frankfurt on genuine economic and monetary union and its implication for the UK (2014)
- On November 8, 2013, several members of the British House of Lords’ Subcommittee A conducted a hearing at the ECB in Frankfurt, Germany, on “Genuine Economic and Monetary Union and its Implications for the UK”. Professors Otmar Issing and Jan Pieter Krahnen were called as expert witnesses. The testimony began with a general discussion on the elements considered necessary for a functioning internal market. Do economic union and monetary union require a fiscal union or even a political union, beyond the elements of the banking union currently being prepared? In this context, also the critique of the German current account surplus and the international expectations that Germany stimulate internal demand to support growth in crisis countries, were discussed. With regard to the monetary union, the members of the subcommittee asked for an assessment of how European nations and the banking industry would have fared in the banking crisis that followed the Lehman collapse, had there not been a common currency. Given the important role that the ECB has played in the course of the crisis management, the members further asked for an evaluation of the OMT-program of the ECB and also if the monetary union is in need of common debt instruments, in order to provide the ECB with the possibility of buying EU liabilities, comparable to the Fed buying US Treasury bonds. Finally, the dual role of the ECB for monetary policy and banking supervision was an issue touched on by several questions.
- 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
- Criteria for a workable approach towards bank levies and bank restructuring : memo for the june 2010 meeting of the G-20 in Toronto (2010)
- SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS 1. One of the major lessons from the current financial crisis refers to the systemic dimension of financial risk which had been almost completely neglected by bankers and supervisors in the pre-2007 years. 2. Accordingly, the most needed change in financial regulation, in order to avoid a repetition of such a crisis in the future, consists of influencing individual bank behaviour such that systemic risk is decreased. This objective is new and distinct from what Basle II was intended to achieve. 3. It is important, therefore, to evaluate proposed new regulatory instruments on the ground of whether or not they contribute to a reduction, or containment of systemic risk. We see two new regulatory measures of paramount importance: the introduction of a Systemic Risk Charge (SRC), and the implementation of a transparent bank resolution regime. Both measures complement each other, thus both have to be realized to be effective. 4. We propose a Systemic Risk Charge (SRC), a levy capturing the contribution of any individual bank to the overall systemic risk which is distinct from the institution’s own default risk. The SRC is set up such that the more systemic risk a bank contributes, the higher is the cost it has to bear. Therefore, the SRC serves to internalize the cost of systemic risk which, up to now, was borne by the taxpayer. 5. Major details of our SRC refer to the use of debt that may be converted into equity when systemic risk threatens the stability of the banking system. Also, the SRC raises some revenues for government. 6. The SRC has to be compared to several bank levies currently debated. The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) does not directly address systemic risk and is therefore inferior to a SRC. Nevertheless, a FTT may offer the opportunity to subsidize on-exchange trading at the expense of off-exchange (over-the-counter, OTC) transactions, thereby enhancing financial market stability. The Financial Activity Tax (FAT) is similar to a VAT on financial services. It is the least adequate instrument among all instruments discussed above to limit systemic risk. 7. Bank resolution regime: No instrument to contain systemic risk can be effective unless the restructuring of bank debt, and the ensuing loss given default to creditors, is a real possibility. As the crisis has taught, bank restructuring is very difficult in light of contagion risk between major banks. We therefore need a regulatory procedure that allows winding down banks, even large banks, on short notice. Among other things, the procedure will require to distinguish systemically relevant exposures from those that are irrelevant. Only the former will be saved with government money, and it will then be the task of the supervisor to ensure a sufficient amount of nonsystemically relevant debt on the balance sheet of all banks. 8. Further issues discussed in this policy paper and its appendices refer to the necessity of a global level playing field, or the lack thereof, for these new regulatory measures; the convergence of our SRC proposal with what is expected to be long-term outcome of Basle III discussions; as well as the role of global imbalances.
- New financial order : recommendations by the Issing Committee ; preparing G-20 – Washington, November 15, 2008 (2009)
- Content New Financial Architecture (Short Version) 1. Purpose of the paper – causes of the crisis 2. Recommendations 2.1. Incentives 2.2. Transparency 2.3. Regulation and Supervision 2.4. International Institutions 3. Concluding remarks Appendix (Full text) A 1. Causes of the crisis A 2. Improving the Framework A 2.1. Incentives A 2.2. Transparency A 2.3. Regulation and Supervision A 2.4. International Institutions A 3. Concluding remarks