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Monetary and Fiscal Policy Essay

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1. Monetary and fiscal policy and its impact on business decision making
2. Open economy macroeconomics-Mundell –Fleming Model and its application


What is monetary policy?

Monetary policy is the management of money supply and interest by central banks to influence prices and employment. Monetary policy works through expansion or contraction of investment consumption expenditure. Monetary policy is the process by which the government, central bank (RBI in India), or monetary authority of a country controls

1. The supply of money
2. Availability of money
3. Cost of money or the rate of interest, in order to attain a set of objective oriented towards the growth and stability of the economy. Monetary theory provides insight into how to craft optimal monetary policy.

Monetary policy is referred to as either being an expansionary policy, or a contractionary policy, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy, and a contractionary policy decreases the total money supply.

Expansionary policy is traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates, while contractionary policy involves raising interest rates in order to combat inflation. Monetary policy is contrasted with fiscal policy, which refers to government borrowing, spending and taxation

Why it is needed?

What monetary policy – at its best – can deliver is low and stable inflation, and thereby reduces the volatility of the business cycle. When inflationary pressures build up, it is monetary policy only which raises the short-term interest rate (the policy rate), which raises real rates across the economy and squeezes consumption and investment. The pain is not concentrated at a few points, as is the case with government interventions in commodity markets. Monetary policy in India underwent significant changes in the 1990sas the Indian Economy became increasing open and financial sector reforms were put in place. In the 1980s, monetary policy was geared towards controlling the quantum, cost and directions of credit flow in the economy. The quantity variables dominated as the transmission Channel of monetary policy. Reforms during the 1990s enhanced the sensitivity of price signals from the central bank, making interestrates the increasingly Dominant transmission channel of monetary policy in India.


Monetary policy is primarily associated with interest rate and credit. For many centuries there were only two forms of monetary policy: (i) Decisions about coinage (ii)Decisions to print paper money to create credit.

Interest rates, while now thought of as part of monetary authority, were not generally coordinated with the other forms of monetary policy during this time. Monetary policy was seen as an executive decision, and was generally in the hands of the authority with seignior age, or the power to coin. With the advent of larger trading networks came the ability to set the price between gold and silver, and the price of the local currency to foreign currencies. This official price could be enforced by law, even if it varied from the market price. With the creation of the Bank of England in 1694, which acquired their responsibility to print notes and back them with gold, the idea of monetary policy as independent of executive action began to be established. The goal of monetary policy was to maintain the value of the coinage, print notes which would trade at par to specie, and prevent coins from leaving circulation. The establishment of central banks by industrializing nations was associated then with the desire to maintain the nation’s peg to the gold standard, and to trade in an arrow band with other gold-backed currencies.

To accomplish this end, central banks as part of the gold standard began setting the interest rates that they charged, both their own borrowers, and other banks that required liquidity. The maintenance of a gold standard required almost monthly adjustment of interest rates. During the 1870-1920 periods the industrialized nations set up central banking systems, with one of the last being the Federal Reserve in1913.By this point the role of the central bank as the “lender of last resort” was understood. It was also increasingly understood that interest rates had an effect on the entire economy, in no small part because of the marginal revolution in economics, which focused on how many more, or how many fewer, people would make a decision based on a change in the economic trade-offs. It also became clear that there was a business cycle, and economic theory began understanding the relationship of interest rates to that cycle.(Nevertheless, steering a whole economy by influencing the interest rate has often been described as trying to steer an oil tanker with a canoe paddle.) Research by Cass Business School has also suggested that perhaps it is the central bank policies of expansionary and contractionary

Policies that are causing the economic cycle; evidence can be found by looking at the lack of cycles in economies before central banking policies existed.


The objectives are to maintain price stability and ensure adequate flow of credit to the productive sectors of the economy. Stability for the national currency (after looking at prevailing economic conditions), growth in employment and income are also looked into. The monetary policy affects the real sector through long and variable periods while the financial markets are also impacted through short-term implications. There are four main ‘channels’ which the RBI looks at: •Quantum channel: money supply and credit (affects real output and price level through changes in reserves money, money supply and credit aggregates).

•Interest rate channel.
•Exchange rate channel (linked to the currency).
•Asset price. Monetary decisions today take into account a wider range of factors, such as:
•short term interest rates;
•long term interest rates;
•velocity of money through the economy;
•exchange rate
•credit quality
•bonds and equities (corporate ownership and debt)
•government versus private sector spending/savings
* International capital flow of money on large scale
* Financial derivatives such as option, swaps and future contracts etc.

Types of monetary policy:

In practice, all types of monetary policy involve modifying the of base currency (MO) in circulation. This process of changing liquidity of base currency through the open sales and purchase (government-issued) debt and credit instrument is called open market operation. Constant market transactions by the monetary authority modify the supply of currency and this impacts other markets variables such as short term interest rates and the exchange rates. The distinction between the various types of monetary policy lies primarily with the set of instruments and target variables that are used by the monetary authority to achieve their goals.

A fixed exchange rate is also an exchange rate regime; The Gold standard results in a relatively fixed regime towards the currency of other countries on the gold standard and a floating regime towards those that are not. Targeting inflation, the price level or other monetary aggregates implies floating exchange rate unless the management of the relevant foreign currencies is tracking the exact same variables (such as a harmonized consumer price index).Inflation targeting Under this policy approach the target is to keep inflation, under particular definition such as Consumer Price Index, within a desired range. The inflation target is achieved through periodic adjustments to the Central Bank interest rate target. The interest rate used is generally the interbank rate at which banks lend to each other overnight for cash flow purposes. Depending on the country this particular interest rate might be called the cash rate or something similar. The interest rate target is maintained for a specific duration using open market operations. Typically the duration that the interest rate target is kept constant will vary between months and years.

This interest rate target is usually reviewed on a monthly or quarterly basis by a policy committee Price level targeting Price level targeting is similar to inflation targeting except that CPI growth in one year is offset in subsequent years such that over time the price level on aggregate does not move. Something similar to price level targeting was tried by Sweden in the1930s, and seems to have contributed to the relatively good performance of the Swedish economy during the Great Depression. As of 2004, no country operates monetary policy based on a price level target. Monetary aggregates In the 1980s, several countries used an approach based on a constant growth in the money supply. This approach was refined to include different classes of money and credit (M0, M1 etc). In the USA this approach to monetary policy was discontinued with the selection of Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman. This approach is also sometimes called monetarism. While most monetary policy focuses on a price signal of one form or another, this approach is focused on monetary quantities.

Fixed exchange rate this policy is based on maintaining a fixed exchange rate with a foreign currency. There are varying degrees of fixed exchange rates, which can be ranked in relation to how rigid the fixed exchange rate is with the anchor nation. Under a system of fiat fixed rates, the local government or monetary authority declares a fixed exchange rate but does not actively buy or sell currency to maintain the rate. Instead, the rate is enforced by non-convertibility measures (e.g. capital controls, import/export licenses, etc.). In this case there is a black market exchange rate where the currency trades at its market/unofficial rate. Under a system of fixed-convertibility, currency is bought and sold by the central bank or monetary authority on a daily basis to achieve the target exchange rate. This target rate may be a fixed level or a fixed band within which the exchange rate may fluctuate until the monetary authority intervenes to buy or sell as necessary to maintain the exchange rate within the band. (In this case, the fixed exchange rate with a fixed level can be seen as a special case of the fixed exchange rate with bands where the bands are set to zero.)

Under a system of fixed exchange rates maintained by a currency board every unit of local currency must be backed by a unit of foreign currency (correcting for the exchange rate). This ensures that the local monetary base does not inflate without being backed by hard currency and eliminates any worries about a run on the local currency by those wishing to convert the local currency to the hard (anchor) currency. These policies often abdicate monetary policy to the foreign monetary authority or government as monetary policy in the pegging nation must align with monetary policy in the anchor nation to maintain the exchange rate.

The degree to which local monetary policy becomes dependent on the anchor nation depends on factors such as capital mobility, openness, credit channels and other economic factors Gold standard The gold standard is a system in which the price of the national currency as measured in units of gold bars and is kept constant by the daily buying and selling of base currency to other countries and nationals. (I.e. open market operations cf. above). The selling of gold is very important for economic growth and stability. The gold standard might be regarded as a special case of the “Fixed Exchange Rate” policy. And the gold price might be regarded as a special type of “Commodity Price Index” .

Today this type of monetary policy is not used anywhere in the world, although a form of gold standard was used widely across the world prior to 1971. For details see the Breton Woods system. Its major advantages were simplicity and transparency. Monetary policy tools monetary base monetary policy can be implemented by changing the size of the monetary base. This directly changes the total amount of money circulating in the economy. A central bank can use open market operations to change the monetary base. The central bank would buy/sell bonds in exchange for hard currency. When the central bank disburses/collects this hard currency payment, it alters the amount of currency in the economy, thus altering the monetary base. .

Monetary policy in different years

The monetarist statistical regularities have weakened for the 1970-90 period, in comparison with the 1960-79 where the influence of current and past business activity on the money supply were weak, while the predictive value of changes in the money stock for future output was large National income and saving play vital role on formulation of monetary policy.

As the income increases the spending will also increase, thus monetary will be less intensively required and same is the case with increase in saving .chart shows how the finance systems generate the real money and nominal money .The existence of long-run equilibrium relationship among money and income represented by a money demand function also has significant implications for monetary policy. The kind of economy India has, it is effected by the dollar rate .India has Services led growth is getting reinforced by a sustained resurgence in industrial activity after a long hiatus of slow down and restructuring during the period 1976-1987.Thus India contribute much too the imports and exports, thus it have impacted by dollar price.

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