04 18 2017 | by Victor Xing | Capital Markets
02 17 2017 | by Victor Xing | Economics
Looming risks through the prism of bifurcated housing market
01 11 2017 | by Victor Xing | Economics
Financial risk contagion: China’s capital outflow
12 22 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
November PCE: dollar strength weighed on goods inflation
12 14 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
A less-hawkish interpretation of the December FOMC
12 02 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
November Payrolls and Governor Powell on risk management
11 15 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
November FOMC minutes and debates behind guidance change
11 04 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
October Payrolls: decent data with stronger wage growth
11 02 2016 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
November FOMC: forward guidance and the return of “some”
11 01 2016 | by Victor Xing | Economics
September PCE: goods and energy inflation lead the index
10 19 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks
Are central banks responsible for credit cycles and credit crises?
Short answer: central banks are responsible for creating credit cycles, and the inevitable credit tightening have often resulted in financial downturn or even credit crises.
More nuanced answer:
Central banks adjustin order to stimulate economies with more plentiful credit, or to cool growth by tightening the credit supply.
Central banks’ “money supply lever”
One lever to influence the money supply is short-term interest rates. By lowering rates, the central banks increase credit demand by incentivising borrowers, and banks would in turn keep less deposit as reserves. Money supply would grow to fuel consumption and investment.
Eventually, prolonged easy credit availability would make the economy run hot, and inflation (as well as distortions) would start to materialize. In response, the central banks would tighten credit supply by raising rates. Credit become less plentiful with higher borrowing costs, and economic growth slows.
Using the money supply lever, central banks create credit cycles.
Illustration credit: “How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio,”
Putting central bank’s monetary transmission mechanism in perspective, many recent crises were essentially credit crises – our central banks would try to counter one economic crisis by lowering interest rates and induce the financial sector to flood the system with cheap credit, laying the foundation for future credit bubbles.
One good example was the dot-com bubble. The Greenspan Federal Reserve kept rates low to soften the blow of dot-com bubble burst and the negative shocks of 9/11. Yet, it kept rates low for too long, and the housing bubble ensued. The Federal Reserve then tried to deflate the bubble, but monetary transmission mechanism was broken. Raising rates had failed to affect long term borrowing costs, and the FED ended up keeping rates too high for too long, and the housing bubble popped instead of deflating.
Following 08, ultra-accommodation monetary policy had prevented the system from fully deleveraging (for better or worse), and many are again seeing signs of bubble in various asset markets.
Thus, some investors have argued that our central banks are in-fact doing more harm than good, as creating credit cycles in complex economies have led to multiple hard-to-manage boom – bust cycles with severe consequences.
Next article10 17 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks