ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Quantitative easingSubscribe to Quantitative easing

Weak Note of Caution on Unconventional Monetary Policies

The prolonged deployment of “unconventional” monetary policy responses that began in reaction to the financial crisis of 2008, especially “quantitative easing,” set off speculative investments and fuelled asset bubbles. Since they cannot allow the new bubbles to give in, policymakers must persist with decisions that inflate asset prices. By doing so, they end up sitting one more bubble on the previous one. The probability that one or both may burst has only increased.

Capital Account Management in India

India has been subject to capricious capital flows since its integration with the global capital markets in the early 1990s. In a bid to balance diverse objectives, India, like many other emerging markets, has resorted to active management of various types of capital flows. This paper finds that while the calibrated liberalisation approach resulted in altering the composition of capital flows towards more stable flows, and has helped India to negotiate the "Trilemma," the use of sporadic capital account management measures in the face of surge or stop of capital flows has not been very effective in achieving their objectives of reducing external vulnerability or mitigating macro-prudential risks.

Monetary Policy Dilemmas at the Current Juncture

Monetary policies in advanced economies and emerging markets face quite different challenges at the current juncture. In the advanced countries, current dilemmas derive from the normalisation of unconventional monetary policies. The short-term dilemma is to determine when to start exiting extraordinary policies and selecting appropriate tools, as conventional tools may not be very relevant during this phase. The medium- to long-term challenges relate to the sequencing, pace and mechanics of normalisation. Monetary policy in emerging markets needs to cope with the familiar dilemmas of fiscal dominance, the growth-inflation trade-off and the "impossible trinity." With fiscal parameters in control, and food and commodity prices subdued, the chief dilemma currently confronting emerging markets involves a trade-off between targeting divergent domestic and external cycles. Although they are now better placed to absorb a sudden stop, the impact is likely to be differential, with those with weaker macroeconomic parameters suffering greater pain.

Calm before the Storm?

It is generally believed that India is doing far better than most emerging market economies in these times of global economic turmoil. Emerging markets are facing capital flight, with large-scale outflows, especially since the second half of 2015, with the trend expected to continue in 2016. India has been less affected than others, but is clearly vulnerable due to the large number of Indian firms that are exposed to external borrowings, a weak rupee, a year or more of declining merchandise exports, falling corporate profitability, and stressed corporate balance sheets.
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