Monetary Policy

Monetary Policy

Research

David Beckworth | Jun 15, 2016
Visiting Scholar David Beckworth demonstrates that poor monetary policy set by the European Central Bank (ECB) played a key role in the two recessions, sparked the sovereign debt crisis experienced by several Eurozone countries, and exacerbated the impact of the austerity programs.
Scott Sumner | Mar 2016
There is a great deal of academic research suggesting that monetary policy should use a rules-based approach (e.g., Kydland and Prescott 1977, McCallum 1985, Plosser 2014). However, Fed officials have generally been opposed to any sort of rigid policy rule.
Alexander Salter | Dec 04, 2014
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholar Alexander William Salter examines several different proposed rules that the Fed could follow. Salter provides a framework to help policymakers better understand how incentives and information can affect monetary policy and discusses discretion-based and rule-based approaches to monetary policy.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel | Sep 16, 2014
Many economists and economic commentators fear that the Federal Reserve does not have an adequate exit strategy from the quantitative easing that took place during the financial crisis. Its bloated balance sheet has allegedly left a looming monetary overhang that the Fed will not be able to manage once the economy returns to normal.
David Beckworth | Jul 10, 2014
Inflation targeting emerged in the early 1990s and soon became the dominant monetary-policy regime. It provided a much-needed nominal anchor that had been missing since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system.
Benjamin M. Blau | Oct 24, 2013
This paper analyzes the characteristics of banks that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the recent financial crisis. Using unique data consisting of emergency loan transactions, I provide evidence that larger banks, in terms of assets and market capitalization, were more likely to receive emergency support.

Testimony & Comments

Jason Scott Johnston , Todd Zywicki, Michael Wilt | Aug 22, 2016
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the Bureau) proposes a rule to prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements in consumer financial-product or service contracts. The Bureau bases its proposed rulemaking on findings from its 2015 study, which was mandated by Congress under Section 1028(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act. In a new public interest comment for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, University of Virginia law professor Jason S. Johnston, George Mason University law professor Todd J. Zywicki, and Mercatus Center senior policy writer Michael P. Wilt examine the Bureau’s proposed rule and findings, and they demonstrate that the Bureau’s data and analysis are often inconsistent, inadequate, and flawed. Because of flaws in the methodology and data, the Bureau’s 2015 study should not be used as the basis for any regulatory proposal to limit the use of consumer arbitration. Furthermore, regulatory efforts to limit the use of arbitration will likely leave consumers worse off. A deeper analysis of the Bureau’s data shows that arbitration is, in reality, relatively fair and successful at resolving a range of disputes between consumers and providers of consumer financial products.
Jerry Brito, Eli Dourado | Aug 14, 2014
As the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has found, certain virtual currency businesses are money service businesses. Typically such money service businesses engage in money transmission and as a result must acquire a money transmitter license in each state in which they do business.
Hester Peirce | Jul 10, 2014
As the Federal Reserve celebrates one hundred years, reform efforts are timely. Consideration of fundamental questions about the Federal Reserve’s role in the regulatory landscape and in the markets should accompany those efforts.
Lawrence H. White | Mar 12, 2014
So long as monetary policy is conducted in a discretionary manner, it is important to maintain the independent input of the Reserve Bank presidents on the FOMC. The Reserve Banks should therefore not become mere outposts of the Federal Reserve Board in order to eliminate commercial bankers’ representation on their boards of directors. A better way to remove the potential for conflicts of interest is to require the Federal Reserve System to leave the formation of fiscal and credit-allocation policies to Congress and their execution to the US Treasury.
Lawrence H. White | Sep 11, 2013
Lawrence H. White's testimony to the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade House Committee on Financial Services.
Lawrence H. White | Sep 13, 2011
Lawrence H. White testified before the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology about H.R. 1098, The Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011.

Expert Commentary

May 13, 2016

Although it's been a few years since the most recent increase, the $15 proposals cannot simply be written off as a cost-of-living adjustment, as the consumer price index is up only some 11 percent since the previous increase.
May 11, 2016

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce David Beckworth will join as a senior research fellow with the Program on Monetary Policy, starting July 1st, 2016.
Mar 14, 2016

The Fed is a monetary superpower, affecting monetary conditions across the globe. It needs to better recognize this role and act now with decisive easing.
By David Beckworth, Ramesh Ponnuru |
Feb 08, 2016

Bold theses should receive skeptical reactions, and ours did. We argued in the New York Times that, contrary to what just about everyone believes, the financial crisis and the Great Recession that blew up the American economy in 2008 were not the necessary consequences of a housing bust.
Feb 04, 2016

See if this sounds familiar. The economy is in a deep slump. The Fed cuts interest rates close to zero and then tries quantitative easing (QE). A banking crisis begins in the United States and then spreads to Europe, where even sovereign debt is no longer safe. Individual countries are locked into a single monetary regime and unable to stimulate their economies. Am I my describing the Great Recession? Yes, but I’m also describing the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Now let’s push the comparison a bit further.
Jan 14, 2016

The Fed began a new chapter in its history in December by raising interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. A key reason for this historic liftoff of interest rates is the belief by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other monetary officials that the "natural" interest rate has risen and the Fed must follow suit. So what is this mysterious natural interest rate, and why must the Fed follow it?

Experts

Podcasts

David Beckworth | August 29, 2016
He joins the show to discuss the criteria for an ideal monetary union and argues that the U.S. didn’t really become an optimal currency area until the 1930s.

Upcoming Events

Recent Events

Please join the Mercatus Center’s Program on Monetary Policy Director Scott Sumner, and Visiting Scholar David Beckworth, for an in-depth discussion on the Federal Reserve. Just a week after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s Congressional testimony, Mercatus scholars will analyze current Federal Reserve policy (like the December rate hike), and lead an informative discussion on the future of monetary policy.

Books

Jerry Brito, Andrea Castillo | May 03, 2016
As the world’s first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize online payment systems and commerce in ways that benefit both consumers and businesses. Individuals can now avoid using an intermediary such as PayPal or submitting credit card information to a third party for verification—both of which often involve transaction fees, restrictions, and security risks—and instead use bitcoins to pay each other directly for goods or services.

Media Clippings

Benjamin M. Blau | Oct 27, 2013
Benjamin Blau cited at The Washington Examiner.
Benjamin M. Blau | Oct 24, 2013
Benjamin Blau cited at International Business Times.
Jerry Brito | Oct 03, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at The Wall Street Journal.
Jerry Brito | Oct 03, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at Los Angeles Times.
Jerry Brito | Oct 03, 2013
Jerry Brito cited at BBC.
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