June 2020

Post n°168
Published on 06/30/2020

With nominal interest rates close to zero, the scope for using conventional monetary policy becomes very limited. However, this liquidity trap does not undermine central banks’ capacity for action. A recent study shows that they can stimulate the economy even in periods of low interest rates, and that they are therefore equipped to act effectively in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Chart 1 – The effect of monetary easing remains positive in the euro area in ELB times
Chart 1 – The effect of monetary easing remains positive in the euro area in ELB times Source: Lhuissier, Mojon and Jubio-Ramirez (2020). NB: The accommodative monetary policy decision (“monetary policy shock”) corresponds to a fall in two-year sovereign interest rates of the order of 10 basis points.
Post n°167
Published on 06/25/2020

We assess the link between banks' commitments to take climate issues seriously, measured by a climate performance rating based on their declarations, and the changes in their lending in France to greenhouse gas emitting industries between 2010 and 2017. A higher score appears to be associated with lower growth in lending to large enterprises in the five most carbon-intensive industries. However, lending to SMEs is not affected.

Chart 1: Banks’ pro-climate commitments and share of loans to firms in the most carbon-intensive industries in France.
Chart 1: Banks’ pro-climate commitments and share of loans to firms in the most carbon-intensive industries in France. Source: Banque de France, authors’ calculations.
Post n°166
Published on 06/12/2020

The Eurosystem responded quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, deploying significant measures to support the provision of financing to the economy through the bank lending and market financing channels. The measures take three forms: credit operations have been adjusted and extended, collateral easing measures have been introduced, and securities purchase programmes have been strengthened.

Table: main monetary policy decisions taken in March-June 2020
Table: main monetary policy decisions taken in March-June 2020 Source: Banque de France
Post n°165
Published on 06/10/2020

Sharp increases in government debt have occurred in post-war periods. While inflation, albeit at times moderate, was the norm in the 20th century, this had not occurred in previous centuries, even though wars had led to similar increases in public debt. One of the reasons for this is that this debt was set aside in a sinking fund for repayment at a later date.

Chart 1: Inflation and government debt in the United Kingdom (1700-1950)
Chart 1: Inflation and government debt in the United Kingdom (1700-1950) Source: Bank of England
Post n°164
Published on 06/05/2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted lender-of-last-resort interventions and massive asset purchases by central banks. Such responses are all the more necessary since the transmission of monetary policy to the real economy is asymmetric. Evidence suggests that the effects of an expansionary monetary policy are more limited than those of a contractionary policy. One reason lies in the existence of downward bank lending rate rigidity.

Chart 1 - Year-on-year changes in Eonia and bank lending rates in the euro area (per cent)
Chart 1 - Year-on-year changes in Eonia and bank lending rates in the euro area (per cent) Source: Levieuge and Sahuc (2020)