- Central banks are already doing the unthinkable – you just don’t know it
by The lords of finance are losing their touch. Institutions which dragged the world from its worst depression since the early 20th century are finally seeing their magic desert them, if conventional wisdom is to be believed.
Eight years on the from the Great Recession, voices as authoritative as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of International Settlements – dubbed the ‘central bank of central banks’ – have called time on the era of extraordinary monetary policy.
Having hoovered up $12.3 trillion (£8.5 trillion) in financial assets and carried out 637 interest rate cuts since 2008, central banks have been stunned back into action in the last six weeks. The Bank of Japan kicked off a new round of global easing with its decision to cross the rubicon into negative interest rate territory on January 29.
Eurozone policymakers followed suit earlier this month with a triple whammy of interest rate cuts, €20bn in additional asset purchases a month, and an unprecedented move to allow commercial banks to borrow money at negative rates. The Federal Reserve has also taken its foot off the pedal by slashing its expected interest rate hikes from four a year to just two.