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Alberto Martin

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 272
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Abstract
Since the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) 2003 strategy review, the importance of macro-financial amplification channels for monetary policy has increasingly gained recognition. This paper takes stock of this evolution and discusses the desirability of further incremental enhancements in the role of financial stability considerations in the ECB’s monetary policy strategy. The paper starts with the premise that macroprudential policy, along with microprudential supervision, is the first line of defence against the build-up of financial imbalances. It also recognises that the pursuit of price stability through monetary policy, and of financial stability through macroprudential policy, are to a large extent complementary. Nevertheless, macroprudential policy may not be able to ensure financial stability independently of monetary policy, because of spillovers originating from the common transmission channels through which the two policies produce their effects. For example, a low interest rate environment can create incentives to engage in more risk-taking, or can adversely impact the profitability of financial intermediaries and hence their capacity to absorb shocks. The paper argues that the existence of such spillovers creates a conceptual case for monetary policy to take financial stability considerations into account. It then goes on to discuss what this conclusion might imply in practice for the ECB. One option would be to exploit the flexible length of the medium-term horizon over which price stability is to be achieved. Longer deviations from price stability could occasionally be tolerated, if they resulted in materially lower risks for financial stability and, ultimately, for future price stability. ...
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 269
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Abstract
The ECB’s price stability mandate has been defined by the Treaty. But the Treaty has not spelled out what price stability precisely means. To make the mandate operational, the Governing Council has provided a quantitative definition in 1998 and a clarification in 2003. The landscape has changed notably compared to the time the strategy review was originally designed. At the time, the main concern of the Governing Council was to anchor inflation at low levels in face of the inflationary history of the previous decades. Over the last decade economic conditions have changed dramatically: the persistent low-inflation environment has created the concrete risk of de-anchoring of longer-term inflation expectations. Addressing low inflation is different from addressing high inflation. The ability of the ECB (and central banks globally) to provide the necessary accommodation to maintain price stability has been tested by the lower bound on nominal interest rates in the context of the secular decline in the equilibrium real interest rate. Against this backdrop, this report analyses: the ECB’s performance as measured against its formulation of price stability; whether it is possible to identify a preferred level of steady-state inflation on the basis of optimality considerations; advantages and disadvantages of formulating the objective in terms of a focal point or a range, or having both; whether the medium-term orientation of the ECB’s policy can serve as a mechanism to cater for other considerations; how to strengthen, in the presence of the lower bound, the ECB’s leverage on private-sector expectations for inflation and the ECB’s future policy actions so that expectations can act as ‘automatic stabilisers’ and work alongside the central bank.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
19 February 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2527
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Abstract
The Global Financial Crisis fostered the design and adoption of macroprudential policies throughout the world. This raises important questions for monetary policy. What, if any, is the relationship between monetary and macroprudential policies? In particular, how does the effectiveness of macroprudential policies (or lack thereof) influence the conduct of monetary policy? This discussion paper builds on the insights of recent theoretical and empirical research to address these questions.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
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Research Task Force (RTF)
16 April 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2266
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Abstract
We develop a new theory of information production during credit booms. In our model, entrepreneurs need credit to undertake investment projects, some of which enable them to divert resources towards private consumption. Lenders can protect themselves from such diversion in two ways: collateralization and costly screening, which generates durable information about projects. In equilibrium, the collateralization-screening mix depends on the value of aggregate collateral. High collateral values raise investment and economic activity, but they also raise collateralization at the expense of screening. This has important dynamic implications. During credit booms driven by high collateral values (e.g. real estate booms), the economy accumulates physical capital but depletes information about investment projects. As a result, collateral-driven booms end in deep crises and slow recoveries: when booms end, investment is constrained both by the lack of collateral and by the lack of information on existing investment projects, which takes time to rebuild. We provide new empirical evidence using US firm-level data in support of the model's main mechanism.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
D80 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→General
26 March 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2255
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Abstract
This paper explores a natural connection between fiscal multipliers and foreign holdings of public debt. Although fiscal expansions can raise domestic economic activity through various channels, they can also have crowding-out effects if the resources used to acquire public debt reduce domestic consumption and investment. These crowding-out effects are likely to be weaker when governments have access to foreign markets to place their debt, increasing the size of multipliers. We test this hypothesis on (i) post-war US data and (ii) data for a panel of 17 advanced economies from the 1980's to the present. To do so, we assemble a novel database of public debt holdings by domestic and foreign creditors for a large set of advanced economies. We combine this data with standard measures of fiscal policy shocks and show that, indeed, the size of fiscal multipliers is increasing in the share of public debt held by foreigners. In particular, the fiscal multiplier is smaller than one when the foreign share is low, such as in the U.S. in the 1950's and 1960's and Japan today, and larger than one when the foreign share is high, such as in the U.S. and Ireland today.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F62 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Macroeconomic Impacts
F65 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Finance
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
22 February 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2245
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Abstract
How do housing bubbles affect other economic sectors? We show that in the presence of collateral constraints, a bubble initially raises housing credit demand and crowds out credit to non-housing firms. If the bubble lasts, however, housing credit repayments raise banks’ net worth and expand credit supply, so that crowding-out eventually gives way to crowding-in. This is consistent with evidence from the recent Spanish housing bubble. Initially, credit growth of non-housing firms was lower at banks with higher bubble exposure, and firms relying on these banks exhibited lower credit and output growth. During the bubble’s last years, these effects reversed.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
24 September 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2177
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Abstract
This paper identifies the various channels that give rise to a “sovereign-bank nexus” whereby the financial health of banks and sovereigns is intertwined. We find that banks and sovereigns are linked by three interacting channels: banks hold large amounts of sovereign debt; banks are protected by government guarantees; and the health of banks and governments affect and is affected by economic activity. Evidence suggests that all three channels are relevant. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of these findings.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
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Discussion papers
1 June 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1348
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Abstract
We explore a view of the crisis as a shock to investor sentiment that led to the collapse of a bubble or pyramid scheme in financial markets. We embed this view in a standard model of the financial accelerator and explore its empirical and policy implications. In particular, we show how the model can account for: (i) a gradual and protracted expansionary phase followed by a sudden and sharp recession; (ii) the connection (or lack of connection!) between financial and real economic activity and; (iii) a fast and strong transmission of shocks across countries. We also use the model to explore the role of fiscal policy.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
O40 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→General
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ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme
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