• The Financial District

CENTRAL BANKS STILL HAVE TOOLS TO SAVE GLOBAL ECONOMY

Julia Horowitz of CNN Business has argued that central banks still have some tools in their shed to save the global economy from ruin.

In her June 21, 2020 analysis entitled “What hasn't been done to save the global economy?” Horowitz said “central banks, for their part, have fired much of their ammunition, and political leaders are still debating what comes next. But there are options left. One is negative interest rates, a controversial tactic that has already been employed in Europe and Japan. Chatter is growing about whether the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England could follow suit should the crisis drag on longer than expected, though Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has appeared more receptive to the idea than Fed Chair Jerome Powell.”


Negative interest rates charge banks to park their money with the central banks, theoretically encouraging greater lending. But critics note that the policy penalizes savers and banks, and may not do much good at a time when interest rates are already near zero.

Another idea is that the Fed could "lower interest rates on loans offered to state and local governments, extend these loans' maturities, and make them more broadly available to cities and counties," Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, wrote in a blog post earlier this month. More fiscal stimulus is also possible. In fact, many economists and market watchers consider it necessary. "The Fed can do more at the margins — but its existing tools are too weak to provide the help typical families need," Bivens wrote. "It's up to Congress and the president now." The White House is reportedly working on a hefty infrastructure package, which Bloomberg reported last week could carry a $1 trillion price tag. But such plans are still very much in flux.