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Monetary policy glossary

base money (monetary base)

Currency (banknotes and coins) in circulation plus the minimum reserves credit institutions are required to hold with the Eurosystem and any excess reserves they may voluntarily hold in the Eurosystem's deposit facility, all of which are liabilities on the Eurosystem's balance sheet. Base money is sometimes also referred to as the "monetary base".


See Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs)

bilateral procedure

A procedure whereby the central bank deals directly with only one counterparty or a few counterparties on a one-to-one basis, without making use of tender procedures. Bilateral procedures include operations executed through stock exchanges or market agents.

bond market

The market for interest-bearing securities (with either a fixed or a floating rate and with a maturity of at least one year) that companies and governments issue to raise capital for investment. Fixed-rate bonds account for the largest share of this market.

book-entry system

A system which enables transfers of securities and other financial assets which do not involve the physical movement of paper documents or certificates (e.g. the electronic transfer of securities). See also dematerialisation, immobilisation

Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs)

Guidelines adopted by the EU Council in line with Article 121(2) TFEU to provide the framework for defining the economic policies of the Member States and of the Union. See also Employment Guidelines, Integrated Guidelines

budget balance

Net lending/borrowing of the general government sector, i.e. the net amount of revenue which is either placed by the government at the disposal of other sectors, or provided by other sectors to the government. It corresponds to the difference between total government revenue and total government expenditure.