Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Macroprudential policy: from Tiberius to Crockett and beyond - speech by Sir Jon Cunliffe"

I don't know who to thank for this.
I mean I wasn't lurking at the BoE or anything but it popped up in a reader.

From the Bank of England:
Historians still argue about the exact causes of the financial crash of AD 33 that rocked the Roman Empire.  The commentators of the day did not unfortunately have, let alone record, the vast amounts of data that we have become used to today.  But in a world still painfully extricating itself from the crash of 2008, the key features look eerily familiar, as a number of modern day commentators have observed.  An extension of credit across the empire, a sudden deleveraging, debtors failing and bank closures in a number of Roman provinces, the total drying up of liquidity in the financial system and widespread panic.
The remedies look familiar too.  The Emperor Tiberius was not able to rely on a modern independent central bank with the ability to print money to staunch the crisis.  But notwithstanding that immense shortcoming, Tiberius took effective action, injecting into the system a huge amount of liquidity stored in coin in his treasury, setting interest rates at zero for a three year period – an early example of forward guidance – and doubling loan to value requirements for property loans.  He also executed those he thought most responsible: though some might advocate that today, I think in that respect at least we have moved on from AD 33.
Systemic financial crises, as this episode shows, are not new.  The invention of credit and the development of banking and financial systems have been key to the improvement of human living standards throughout history.  But they bring with them the boom and bust extremes of the credit cycle, driven by greed and fear, and the risk of systemic crises which can badly damage the real economy.
As financial systems have developed and spread, public authorities, from Tiberius’ administration to the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the modern Bank of England today, have had to adapt both to deal with financial crises when they occur and to try to prevent them occurring in the first place.  It has often been an unequal struggle....MORE