This paper provides background information to the main Board paper, “The Role and Limits of Unconventional Monetary Policy.” This paper is divided in five distinct sections, each focused on a different topic covered in the main paper, though most relate to bond purchase programs. As a result, this paper centers on the experience of the United States Federal Reserve (Fed), the Bank of England (BOE) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), mostly leaving the European Central Bank (ECB) aside given its focus on restoring the functioning of financial markets and intermediation. Section A explores whether bond purchase programs were effective at decreasing bond yields and, if so, through which channels. Section B goes one step further in evaluating whether bond purchase programs had—or can be expected to have—significant effects on real growth and inflation. Section C studies the spillover effects of bond purchases on both advanced and emerging market economies, using very similar methods as introduced in the first section. Section D breaks from the immediate focus on bond purchases to discuss how inflation might decrease the debt burden in advanced economies, in light of possible pressures that could fall (or be perceived to fall) on central banks. Finally, Section E discusses the possible risks of exiting given the very large central bank balance sheets.
This paper examines the role of the derivatives market in South Africa and provides policy options for promoting the development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa's derivatives market has grown rapidly in recent years, supporting capital inflows and helping market participants to price, unbundle and transfer risk. There are tight regulations on asset allocations by insurance and pension funds to prevent excessive risk taking. The development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan African countries could enable market participants to self-insure against volatile capital flows. Theiroverdependence on bank credit as a source of funding could be reduced and their management of seasonal risk could be improved through the introduction of commodity futures. However, these markets must be appropriately regulated and supervised. Since such markets would likely be small, consideration should be given to the establishment of a regional derivatives market.
This paper presents international evidence on the determinants of trade dynamics. It provides some new empirical perspectives on the relationship between international trade and macroeconomic fluctuations in industrial economies. A comprehensive set of stylized facts concerning fluctuations in trade variables and their determinants is presented. A measure of the quantitative importance of international trade for the propagation of domestic business cycles is then constructed, focusing on the role of external trade as a catalyst for cyclical recoveries.
This paper describes the structure of the world gold market, its sources of supply and demand, and how it functions. The paper examines the composition and origin of physical stocks of gold, their flows, and their market destination and also reviews the operation of bullion and paper gold markets.
This paper describes and analyzes forward market systems with varying degrees of sophistication, and it assesses them from the viewpoint of a smaller industrial or developing country asking itself how it could institute such a system, or how it could further develop an existing system in a way consistent with its institutional and macroeconomic structure. All industrial countries except Iceland now have forward exchange markets in which the rate is determined by the market. Forward markets that have been liberalized in several countries in the 1980s have matured quickly. There are several variants of market-determined systems which could be envisaged. An auction market could be devised for forward transactions, but is unlikely to be practical, because the supply of forward exchange probably may not be determined in advance sufficiently accurately. As the last stage of its development, the market could be extended from underlying commercial transactions to forward transactions of a purely financial character, a process that is taking place in most of the few industrial countries that have retained regulated forward systems. Development of a forward market is not a panacea for incorrect financial policies. In fact, cultivation of the market will require the adoption and maintenance of realistic financial policies.