Walter Engert

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Staff Analytical Notes

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Staff Discussion Papers

Cash and COVID-19: The impact of the pandemic on demand for and use of cash

Consumer spending declined significantly during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This negative shock likely reduced spending across all methods of payment (cash, debit, credit, etc.). The mix of payment methods consumers use could also be affected. We study how the pandemic has influenced the demand for and use of cash. We also offer insights into the use of other payment methods, such as debit and credit cards.

A Tale of Two Countries: Cash Demand in Canada and Sweden

Staff Discussion Paper 2019-7 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Björn Segendorf
Cash use for payments has been steadily decreasing in many countries, including Canada and Sweden. This might suggest an evolution toward a cashless society. But in Canada, cash in circulation relative to GDP has been stable for decades and has even increased in recent years. By contrast, the cash-to-GDP ratio in Sweden has been falling steadily. What has caused this difference? Are there lessons to be learned from comparing the Canadian and Swedish experiences?

Is a Cashless Society Problematic?

Staff Discussion Paper 2018-12 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Scott Hendry
The use of bank notes in Canada for payments has declined consistently for some time, and similar trends are evident in other countries. This has led some observers to predict a cashless society in the future.

Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and Implications

Staff Discussion Paper 2017-16 Walter Engert, Ben Fung
The emergence of digital currencies such as Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain and distribution ledger technology have attracted significant attention. These developments have raised the possibility of considerable impacts on the financial system and perhaps the wider economy.

The Implementation of Monetary Policy in Canada

Staff Discussion Paper 2008-9 Walter Engert, Toni Gravelle, Donna Howard
The authors present a detailed discussion of the Bank of Canada's framework for the implementation of monetary policy. As background, they provide a brief overview of the financial system in Canada, including a discussion of the financial services industry and the money market.

Unanticipated Defaults and Losses in Canada's Large-Value Payments System, Revisited

Staff Discussion Paper 2007-5 Devin Ball, Walter Engert
Recent work at the Bank of Canada studied the impact of default in Canada’s large-value payments system, and concluded that participants could readily manage their potential losses (McVanel 2005). In an extension of that work, the authors use a much larger set of daily payments data – with three times as many observations – to […]

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Staff Working Papers

Uncertainty and Multiple Paradigms of the Transmission Mechanism

Staff Working Paper 1998-7 Walter Engert, Jack Selody
An important challenge facing central banks is making decisions under uncertainty about the dynamic effects of monetary policy actions. The authors stress the importance of explicitly recognizing uncertainty about the transmission mechanism when formulating policy advice. They argue that one way to manage monetary policy under uncertainty is to draw on both an output-gap paradigm […]

Forecasting Inflation with the M1-VECM: Part Two

Staff Working Paper 1998-6 Walter Engert, Scott Hendry
A central bank's main concern is the general direction of future inflation, and not transitory fluctuations of the inflation rate. As a result, this paper is concerned with forecasting a simple measure of the trend of inflation, the eight-quarter CPI-inflation rate. The primary objective is to improve the M1-based vector-error-correction model (VECM) developed by Hendry […]

A Distant-Early-Warning Model of Inflation Based on M1 Disequilibria

A vector error-correction model (VECM) that forecasts inflation between the current quarter and eight quarters ahead is found to provide significant leading information about inflation. The model focusses on the effects of deviations of M1 from its long-run demand but also includes, among other things, the influence of the exchange rate, a simple measure of the output gap and past prices.

Overnight Rate Innovations as a Measure of Monetary Policy Shocks in Vector Autoregressions

Staff Working Paper 1996-4 Walter Engert, Ben Fung, Jamie Armour
The authors examine the Bank of Canada's overnight rate as a measure of monetary policy in vector autoregression (VAR) models. Since the time series of the Bank's current measure of the overnight rate begins only in 1971, the authors splice it to day loan rate observations to obtain a sufficiently long period of data.

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