Working Paper Series : Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability
- Center for Financial Studies (CFS) (4)
Are rules and boundaries sufficient to limit harmful central bank discretion? Lessons from Europe
- Marvin Goodfriend’s (2014) insightful, informative and provocative work explains concisely and convincingly why the Fed needs rules and boundaries. This paper reviews the broader institutional design problem regarding the effectiveness of the central bank in practice and confirms the need for rules and boundaries. The framework proposed for improving the Fed incorporates key elements that have already been adopted in the European Union. The case of ELA provision by the ECB and the Central Bank of Cyprus to Marfin-Laiki Bank during the crisis, however, suggests that the existence of rules and boundaries may not be enough to limit harmful discretion. During a crisis, novel interpretations of the legal authority of the central bank may be introduced to create a grey area that might be exploited to justify harmful discretionary decisions even in the presence of rules and boundaries. This raises the question how to ensure that rules and boundaries are respected in practice
How special are they? - Targeting systemic risk by regulating shadow banking : (October 5, 2014)
- This essay argues that at least some of the financial stability concerns associated with shadow banking can be addressed by an approach to financial regulation that imports its functional foundations more vigorously into the interpretation and implementation of existing rules. It shows that the general policy goals of prudential banking regulation remain constant over time despite dramatic transformations in the financial and technological landscape. Moreover, these overarching policy goals also legitimize intervention in the shadow banking sector. On these grounds, this essay encourages a more normative construction of available rules that potentially limits both the scope for regulatory arbitrage and the need for ever more rapid updates and a constant increase in the complexity of the regulatory framework. By tying the regulatory treatment of financial innovation closely to existing prudential rules and their underlying policy rationales, the proposed approach potentially ends the socially wasteful race between hare and tortoise that signifies the relation between regulators and a highly dynamic industry. In doing so it does not generally hamper market participants’ efficient discoveries where disintermediation proves socially beneficial. Instead, it only weeds-out rent-seeking circumventions of existing rules and standards.
On the conditional effects of IMF loan program participation on output growth
- Panel Sample Selection ModelsThe empirical evidence currently available in the literature regarding the effects of a country's IMF program participation on its output growth is rather inconclusive. In this paper we propose and estimate a panel data sample selection model featuring state dependence. As in this model the output growth effects of program participation can be conditional on the realization of a state variable (conditional pooling), our framework may reconcile previous empirical evidence based on models without state-dependent effects. We find that the effects of IMF program participation on output growth vary systematically with an index reflecting a country's institutional record, and that output growth effects of program participation are significantly positive only if the program participation is coupled with sufficient improvement of the institutional record.
On the importance of sectoral and regional shocks for price setting : [Version Juli 2012]
Guenter W. Beck
- We use a novel disaggregate sectoral euro area data set with a regional breakdown to investigate price changes and suggest a new method to extract factors from over-lapping data blocks. This allows us to separately estimate aggregate, sectoral, country-specific and regional components of price changes. We thereby provide an improved estimate of the sectoral factor in comparison with previous literature, which decomposes price changes into an aggregate and idiosyncratic component only, and interprets the latter as sectoral. We find that the sectoral component explains much less of the variation in sectoral regional inflation rates and exhibits much less volatility than previous findings for the US indicate. We further contribute to the literature on price setting by providing evidence that country- and region-specific factors play an important role in addition to the sector-specific factors, emphasising heterogeneity of inflation dynamics along different dimensions. We also conclude that sectoral price changes have a “geographical” dimension, that leads to new insights regarding the properties of sectoral price changes.