The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies (Cornell University)
Challenges Confronting Central Bankers Today
The role of central banks in today’s global economy cannot be understated. These institutions hold great influence over important pieces of the economic engine, which in turn impact financial flows, access to credit, prices and global trade. Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the influence of central bank policymakers has only grown greater. Unprecedented actions and emergency measures have been taken to stabilize what otherwise could have been a global economic depression to rival the 1930’s. This paper reviews five questions that today’s central bankers face: whether to adhere to a rules-based monetary policy; if central banks should step into stabilize markets (e.g. QE); the importance of inflation targeting; the role of central bank independence; and the use of negative interest rates. Each of these issues is presented with arguments both in favor and against, empirical evidence to their effectiveness, as well as their possible unintended consequences and interconnectedness.