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QE in the future: the central bank’s balance sheet in a fiscal crisis

Reis, Ricardo (2017) QE in the future: the central bank’s balance sheet in a fiscal crisis. IMF Economic Review, 65 (1). 71 - 112. ISSN 2041-4161

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Identification Number: 10.1057/s41308-017-0028-2


Analyses of quantitative easing (QE) typically focus on the recent past studying the policy’s effectiveness during a financial crisis when nominal interest rates are zero. This paper examines instead the usefulness of QE in a future fiscal crisis, modeled as a situation where the fiscal outlook is inconsistent with both stable inflation and no sovereign default. The crisis can lower welfare through two channels, the first via aggregate demand and nominal rigidities, and the second via contractions in credit and disruption in financial markets. Managing the size and composition of the central bank’s balance sheet can interfere with each of these channels, stabilizing inflation and economic activity. The power of QE comes from interest-paying reserves being a special public liability, neither substitutable by currency nor by government debt.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 International Monetary Fund
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E4 - Money and Interest Rates > E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E5 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit > E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook > E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 11:31
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:54

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