November 17, 2011 The current international monetary system is in need of reform. This article first provides an assessment of the existing system, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. It notes that the system has not facilitated the symmetric and timely adjustment in the real exchange rate necessary to accommodate the integration of China and other emerging-market economies into the global economy. This lack of adjustment contributed to the global financial crisis and recession and, because it is forestalling the required rotation of global demand, is hindering the global recovery. The article then discusses reform of the system that would see all systemically important countries and currency areas adopt market-based and convertible floating exchange rates supported by appropriate monetary, fiscal and financial sector policy frameworks. It also examines the roles of the G-20 countries and major international financial institutions in promoting and facilitating the system’s transition.
May 19, 2011 As part of their policy response to the financial crisis of 2007–09, central banks introduced numerous unprecedented monetary policy measures to provide monetary easing. This article defines and documents these measures, focusing on central bank asset purchases and their impact on central bank balance sheets. It then discusses the challenges of identifying the effects of these measures and explores possible exit strategies. The potential costs of these policies are also analyzed, as well as the broader implications for monetary policy frameworks.