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DOES PRICE STABILITY LEAD TO FINANCIAL INSTABILITY? A. G. (Tassos) Malliaris Quinlan School of Business Loyola University Chicago 20 th Annual Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "DOES PRICE STABILITY LEAD TO FINANCIAL INSTABILITY? A. G. (Tassos) Malliaris Quinlan School of Business Loyola University Chicago 20 th Annual Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 DOES PRICE STABILITY LEAD TO FINANCIAL INSTABILITY? A. G. (Tassos) Malliaris Quinlan School of Business Loyola University Chicago 20 th Annual Conference of the Multinational Finance Society Izmir, Turkey, June 30-July 3, 2013

2 My Plan Offer Critical Comments on Monetary Policy. Relate Monetary Policy and Asset Bubbles. Discuss Financial Instability. Propose a New Hypothesis: Price Stability Leads to Financial Instability Using the Asset Price Bubble Channel.

3 Critical Event The Global Financial Crisis of It Is A Major Regime Shift. It Is the Main Reason to Reconsider Asset Bubbles, Macroeconomic Risk and Monetary Policy. Why Was it Missed By Academics, Policy Makers, Practitioners and Regulators?

4 A Selective List of Causes of the Global Financial Crisis The Bursting of the Housing Bubble. Easy Monetary Policy During Global Exuberance and Imbalances. Government Housing Policies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Opaque Financial Instruments. Shadow Financial System. Interconnectedness and Too Big to Fail.

5 Why Was It A Surprise To All? Academics: Neoclassical Theories. Practitioners: Short-term Trading Horizons. Regulators: Market Discipline. Policy Makers: Inflation Targeting and the Great Moderation.

6 Pre-Crisis Main Theories Rational Consumers, Firms and Investors. Markets are Efficient; Allow for Behavioral Deviations. Reality of Business Cycles: Great Moderation. Monetary Policy and Taylor Rules. Financial Innovation Contributes to Growth. Market Discipline vs. Market Regulation.

7 Corollaries Sufficiency of Price Stability Rather Than Financial Stability. Inflation Targeting Promotes Economic and Financial Stability. Diversification and Risk Management. Ignore Financial Crises Because They Are Unavoidable; Little in Common; Hard to Predict.

8 The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present Abraham Lincoln

9 Perhaps the greatest irony of the past decade is that the gradually unfolding success against inflation may well have contributed to the stock price bubble of the latter part of the 1990s. Looking back on those years, it is evident that technology-driven increases in productivity growth imparted significant upward momentum to expectations of earnings growth and, accordingly, to stock prices. At the same time, an environment of increasing macroeconomic stability reduced perceptions of risk. Greenspan (2004, 35)

10 Search for New Theories to Explain: Asset Bubbles Role of Monetary Policy Financial Instabilities Financial Crises

11 From Criticism to Construction Review Asset Price Bubbles State Facts about Macroeconomic Risks Discuss Financial Instability Evaluate the Role of Monetary Policy Propose and Argue a New Hypothesis

12 Asset Price Bubbles Controversial Topic Kindleberger: An Upward Price Movement Over an Extended Range that then Implodes Soros on Reflexivity Keynes, Minsky, Shiller on Animal Spirits Preconditions for Bubbles?

13 Evolution of Bubbles Some Deflate Some Crash Some Do not Affect the Real Economy Some Cause Serious Economic Damage

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15 Financial Instabilities Challenging to Define Financial Stability Means the Efficient Allocation of Funds to Investment Opportunities F. Mishkin: Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard Slow Return to the Pre-shock State Keynes: Capitalism is Unstable

16 More On Financial Instabilities Financial Instabilities Increase Uncertainty and Generate Risks Valuation Risks: valuing securities during a financial distress Macroeconomic Risks: deterioration of the real economy with high social costs

17 Legislative Response

18 Lessons Learned from the Crisis Price Stability Does Not Imply Financial Stability Asset Price Bubbles Are Very Risky The Cost of Cleaning up After a Bubble Bursts is Very High Financial Instability Seriously Impacts the Real Macroeconomy

19 How Can We Get Out? Examine Inflation Targeting Causes Financial

20 New Hypothesis Inflation Targeting Causes Financial Instability Present 7 scenarios Conclude With Policy Implications

21 1. Insufficient Tools Suppose the Central Bank Targets Both Price Stability and Financial Stability. These Are Two Goals. It Currently Has Only One Tool: Interest Rates Financial Stability Is Ignored

22 2. Minskys Stability Causes Instability Also Discussed By Greenspan. Suppose the Central Bank Succeeds With Inflation Targeting. Low Inflation, Low Fed Funds, Low Long Term Interest Rates, Low Risk, High Valuations, Asset Bubbles, More Collateral, More Credit, Bubble Grows. Eventually Bubble Crashes.

23 3. Moral Hazard Argument The Asymmetric Approach of the Central Bank (Also Called the Jackson Hole Consensus) Encourages Moral Hazard. Asset Prices Grow Slowly But Crash Quickly. Central Banks Ignore the Slow Growth But Respond Quickly to a Crash to Avoid Real Risks. Lean vs. Clean as Before.

24 4. Capital Misallocation Price Stability Achieves Low Inflation. Low Inflation Brings Down Interest Rates and Risks. Asset Bubbles Attract Capital. Is Such Capital Allocated Correctly? No !

25 5. Price Stability and Banks Suppose the Central Bank Wishes to Supplement Price Stability with Financial Stability. Introduce Micro-prudential Regulation. It Only Considers Individual Banks. It Ignores Systemic Risk.

26 6. Neo-Austrian Financial Crisis Ideas Nominal vs. Natural Interest Rates. Nominal is What Banks Charge. Natural is What the Real Sector Supports With Stable Prices. If Nominal and Natural Differ, Asset Prices Are Affected. Keeping Inflation Low Generates Bubbles

27 7. Globalism and a Sequence of Asset Bubbles Savings and Loan Crisis of Asian Crisis Internet Bubbles Housing Bubble The Current Bond Bubble

28 It is better to act and repent than not to act and regret it Machiavelli

29 Conclusions: Focus on Financial Stability Long History Described by Reinhart and Rogoff Monitor Credit Expansion Lean Against Asset Price Bubbles With U.S. Interests Near Zero, Do We Have a Government Bond Bubble? What Impact On The Dollar?

30 Longer Term: The Fed and Financial Stability The Fed and Monetary Policy The Financial Stability Oversight Council Established by the Dodd Frank Act IMF and Global Financial Stability

31 Moving Forward: What Policies? Revise Inflation Targeting: Go Beyond CPI. Lean Against Asset Bubbles; Particularly Housing Bubbles. Implement Macro-Prudential Regulation: To Avoid Systemic Risks Monitor Credit Growth And Collateral. Accept Limitations of Monetary Policy.


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