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Since the 2008 financial crash, monetary policy has played an outsized role in political economies around the world. Some credit decisive loosening of monetary policy for saving economies from the worst effects of the financial crash. Others complain that monetary policy has merely embedded economies’ dependence on unsustainable debt levels while enabling poor fiscal policy and the lack of necessary structural reform. Yet others bemoan the distributional effects of Quantitative Easing (QE) as implemented, and the lack of political accountability by Central Banks as unelected, technocratic bodies that value political independence.
As fears of the next economic downturn, and our ability to respond, grow, this conference will address several questions:
- Given the difficulties being encountered in unwinding loose monetary policy without precipitating recession, are we now in a position where there is little effective monetary policy ammunition left to fight the next downturn?
- Given the now pivotal role of Central Banks in both the monetary policy and regulatory spheres, is it time for a new balance between independence, democratic accountability and fiscal and monetary policy coordination?
- What is the future of monetary policy in increasingly financialized economies with growing debt levels and increasing wealth inequality, all overlain with eroding public faith in the democratic legitimacy of our governance structures and the consequent political backlash that is in full swing