Exploring the Intricacies of Monetary Policy

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In this paper, I will explore the definition of monetary policy, the objectives of the monetary and the monetary policy bases.
Definition of Monetary Policy
Monetary policy consists of the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee to control the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained through actions such as modifying the interest rate, buying or selling government bonds, and changing the amount of money banks are required to keep in the vault.
The Federal Reserve is in charge of monetary policy in the United States.
Types of Monetary Policy
There are two types of monetary policy: expansionary and contractionary.
Expansionary …show more content…

Contractionary monetary policy is sometimes necessary to slow economic growth, increase unemployment and depress borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses. An example would be the Federal Reserve's intervention in the early 1980s: in order to curb inflation of nearly 15%, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate to 20%. This hike resulted in a recession, but did keep spiraling inflation in check. Contractionary policy refers to either a reduction in government spending, particularly deficit spending, or a reduction in the rate of monetary expansion by a central bank. It is a type of policy or macroeconomic tool designed to combat rising inflation or other economic distortions created by central bank or government interventions. Contractionary policy is the opposite of expansionary …show more content…

Open market operations directly affect the money supply through buying short-term government bonds (to expand money supply) or selling them (to contract it). Benchmark interest rates, such as the LIBOR and the Fed funds rate, affect the demand for money by raising or lowering the cost to borrow—in essence, money's price. When borrowing is cheap, firms will take on more debt to invest in hiring and expansion; consumers will make larger, long-term purchases with cheap credit; and savers will have more incentive to invest their money in stocks or other assets, rather than earn very little—and perhaps lose money in real terms—through savings accounts. Policy makers also manage risk in the banking system by mandating the reserves that banks must keep on hand. Higher reserve requirements put a damper on lending and rein in inflation.
Unconventional Monetary Policy
In recent years, unconventional monetary policy has become more common. This category includes quantitative easing, the purchase of varying financial assets from commercial banks. In the US, the Fed loaded its balance sheet with trillions of dollars in Treasury notes and mortgage-backed securities between 2008 and 2013. The Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have pursued similar policies. The effect of quantitative easing is to raise the price of securities, therefore lowering their yields, as well as to increase total money supply.

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