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Maria Papageorghiou

21 September 2021
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
28 January 2016
Although monetary union created the conditions for improving economic and financial integration in the euro area, in the context of the financial and sovereign crises, it has also been accompanied by the emergence of severe imbalances in savings and investment, credit and housing booms in some countries and the allocation of resources towards less productive sectors. The global financial crisis and the euro area sovereign debt crisis then led to major and abrupt adjustments as the risks posed by the large imbalances materialised. Although the institutional shortcomings in the EU that permitted the emergence of imbalances have been largely addressed since 2008, the adjustment process is not yet complete. From a macroeconomic perspective, the imbalances in the external accounts have led to the accumulation of high levels of external liabilities that need to be reduced, which, in turn, is weakening investment and therefore weighing on growth prospects and growth potential. From a macroprudential perspective, the lingering imbalances have added to systemic risk and rendered the euro area more vulnerable to risks. This Occasional Paper analyses the dynamic patterns in macroeconomic imbalances primarily from the former perspective, addressing in particular the connections between macroeconomic and sectoral adjustments of imbalances and the challenges for economic growth and performance over a longer horizon.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics