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After 15 years of deflationary policies the Bank of Japan now clearly is changing course. That should be clear to everybody after today's policy announcement from the Bank of Japan. I don't have a lot of writing here other than I will say this is extremely good news. Good for Japan and good for the global economy and what the BoJ is doing is nearly textbook style monetary easing. The only minus is that the BOJ is targeting inflation and not the NGDP level, but anyway I am pretty convinced this will work and work soon.
Steve Horwitz is out with an new paper - "An Introduction to US Monetary Policy". I haven't read the paper yet, but I am sure it is very good. Steve always writes interesting and insightful stuff about monetary policy issues. I hope to find time to read it in the coming days, but until I have more to say about that paper you should have a look. Here is the abstract:
Since the failure of the Cyprus "bailout" the euro crisis has once again flared up and investors are once again have become nervous about that future of Europe's common currency. I believe most of the present problems dates back to ECB's fatal decision to hike interest rates twice in 2011.
The re-eruption of the euro crisis as sparked not only economic and financial concerns, but maybe even more important the crisis is now very clearly leading to serious political disunity exemplified by an article the Spanish newspaper El País in, which Chancellor Merkel (somewhat unjustly) was compared to Hitler. And it is pretty clear that Germans are unlikely to get the same level of service if they go on vacation in Spain, Greece or Cyprus this year.
It is extremely depressing. After about half year of calm in Europe - mostly due to the efforts of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan - European policy makers have once again messed up and the euro crisis is back on top of the headlines in the financial markets. It is time for the ECB to finally take bold actions and end this crisis once and for all. And no I don't suggest anymore bailouts or odd credit policies and new weird policy instruments. I have a much simpler suggestion and I am pretty sure it would end the crisis very fast.
We used to think that the trouble countries in the euro zone were what has been called the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) and then suddenly Cyprus comes along and blow up. So now everybody is looking for the 'next Cyprus' rather than the next Spain or Greece.
Since I started blogging back in October 2011 I have been so lucky to get in contact with a large number of economists others with interest in monetary policy issues. That has been very rewarding and I want to thank everybody that are reading and commenting on my blog. You make it more inspiring for me to blog.
However, I would like to get in contact with even more ‘monetary nerds’ around the world and I would also love to help facilitate contacts between others with similar interests.
I am therefore setting up a Global Monetary Policy Network (GMPN). GMPN is not a club or an association, but more like a database of ‘monetary nerds’ around the world.
I therefore welcome all of you to drop me a mail about your own interests in monetary policy, monetary theory and monetary history. Let me know about your background and why you are interested in monetary issues. So are you interested in monetary policy or monetary history – or financial and banking regulation for that matter?
I will not make any of the information public, but I hope to be able to bring ‘monetary nerds’ from around the world together.
So if you for example are a PhD student from Sweden who would like to research mobile banking in Africa I might be able to bring you in contact with an Kenyan economics professor or are you a central banker in Europe that would like to learn about banking resolution in New Zealand then I might have a contact for you.
You might also be a journalist who is interested in getting into contact with monetary experts around the world.
So in that sense I see GMPN as a possibility to build a database of interesting people. There are no conditions for joining the network and it is obviously for free. Economics professor, students, journalists and policy makers are all very welcome.
Finally it is certainly no condition that you are a Market Monetarist or think NGDP targeting is a great idea. The only condition is that you have an interest in monetary issues and is willing to share some information about yourself with me.
To join GMPN just drop me a mail at email@example.com
For those of you I already know I also welcome you to drop me a mail – so I can update my “data” on you and your interests.
Nowhere is the fears sparked by EU's 'deposit grab' in Cyprus more visible than in the price of Bitcoins. Take a look at this graph.