Financial Stability, Interest Rate Smoothing and Equilibrium Determinacy

Financial Stability, Interest Rate Smoothing and Equilibrium Determinacy

This paper examines the interaction between monetary policy and financial stability and provides an assessment of the implications of banks’ risk management practices for monetary policy. By considering the desire of the central bank to stabilize different types of the “basis” risk as a contribution to financial stability, we derive a set of plausible interest-rate rules characterized by either backward or forward interest-rate smoothing. The paper investigates the determinacy conditions of the rational expectations equilibria obtained under such rules. Contrary to what previously found in the literature, we find that the practice of smoothing interest rates backward does not in general alleviate problems of equilibrium indeterminacy. Moreover, basis risk stabilization may lead to policy rules embedding “forward” interest-rate smoothing, where a new kind of indeterminacy may arise following excessive concern for financial stability.

Giorgio Di Giorgio and Zeno Rotondi

Journal of Financial Stability

January 2011

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