The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In responding to the global crisis, central banks in several advanced economies ventured beyond traditional monetary policy. A variety of unorthodox measures, including purchases of public and private assets, have significantly enlarged their balance sheets. As recoveries take hold, focus will increasingly shift from countering the Great Recession to orchestrating an exit and returning to a more normal monetary framework. Five years ago, as its economy recovered from a severe financial crisis, Japan attempted just such an exit. This note revisits the Bank of Japan's experience and draws potential lessons for managing an orderly exit today, with a focus on technical aspects, practicalities, and communication strategies. While the nature of the assets acquired during the present crisis could pose additional complications, parts of Japan's arsenal-communication, flexibility, a sufficient set of policy tools and a strategy for using them, safeguards against potential losses, the revival of risk appetite through decisive restructuring of balance sheets, and refinements to the monetary framework upon exit-also could be important this time around.