Before the financial crisis of 2008, most governments lacked an institutional framework for handling financial policy. Central banks focused on monetary policy. They mostly used interest rates to influence inflation and output, believing such a focus could guarantee economic stability. But when it came to financial policy they were inclined to trust the invisible hand of the … [Read more...] about When Focusing on the Interest Rate is Not Enough
Firms in the developed world rely heavily on bank credit. But firms in developing countries, and particularly those in Latin America, rely much more heavily on trade credit--i.e. credit from their suppliers --and that has immense implications for pricing decisions and inflation. Most studies that have looked at inflation in emerging economies have examined the role of domestic … [Read more...] about How the Financing of Firms Affects Prices
Latin American countries have wide-ranging experiences with economic policies and macroeconomic outcomes. The social and economic consequences have at times been adverse and dramatic. The Monetary and Fiscal History of Latin America project has produced systematic evidence using comparable datasets from these varied historical experiences to help build a knowledge base for the … [Read more...] about Examining the Interplay of Monetary and Fiscal Policies in Latin America
Since the late 1990s, a broad reform movement has swept Latin America, aimed at granting independence to central banks and freeing them from government pressure to print money to finance government spending. Laws have been passed and constitutions changed to allow independent central banks to focus on the fight against inflation. A more complicated case has been Brazil, where … [Read more...] about When Central Bank Autonomy Makes All the Difference
On November 2, 2017, the Bank of England increased its policy interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. At the same time, it issued the sternest warning yet that Brexit would have a negative impact on the economy. The statement made the markets think that the economy was weaker than previously thought, or that the Bank of England might be more dovish than expected in the future. The … [Read more...] about Rethinking Inflation Targeting: What Do the UK and Latin America Have in Common?