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The Bank of Japan�s Monetary Policy during the Global Financial Crisis

Yoshihiko Saito

Discussion Papers from Research on Money and Finance

Abstract: The global financial crisis forced the world�s central banks to adopt non-traditional and unconventional policy measures, in addition to lowering their policy interest rates. The Bank of Japan (BOJ), which has been seeking steps to normalize interest rates since it ended its policy of quantitative easing in 2006, has been introducing various measures to tackle the crisis. However, as part of the lesson learned from its quantitative easing policy, the BOJ instituted its Complementary Deposit Facility (a system to remunerate on holdings in excess of required reserves) so that its policy interest rate will not be at zero level. The measures adopted by the BOJ are not ambitious when compared to those implemented by the Federal Reserve Board or the Bank of England, but this is due to the difference in the magnitude of the damage suffered by financial institutions in their respective countries. The BOJ has come under criticism from some quarters for the modest expansion of its balance sheet prior to and following the Lehman shock. But, it is important to note that the BOJ�s balance sheet vis-�-vis GDP remains relatively large when compared to those of other central banks. The current financial crisis offers an opportunity to reconsider the framework of inflation targeting, the relevance of new-Keynesian type of optimal monetary policy and the relationship between monetary policy and asset prices.

Date: 2010
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