Economy
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Episode 99
Featuring Claudio Borio
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Claudio Borio about outstanding sources of financial instability and some of the challenges facing Central Banks as the economy and markets begin to show signs of weakness heading towards the end of 2019. Dr. Borio heads the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Claudio Borio about outstanding sources of financial instability and some of the challenges facing Central Banks as the economy and markets begin to show signs of weakness heading towards the end of 2019. Dr. Borio heads the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements and has written extensively about some of the longer-term, structural forces bedeviling policymakers since the early 2000s. 

More recently, the Federal Reserve held its annual Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Fed Chairman Jay Powell delivered a speech titled, “Challenges for Monetary Policy,” in which he addresses “three longer run questions” bedeviling policymakers. In the speech, Powell breaks up the post-war history of central banking into three distinct eras: 1950–1982, 1983–2009, and 2010—. The day before Jay Powell’s speech, on August 22nd, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, published a series of tweets where he conducted a similar retrospective analysis of central bank policy going back to the stagflationary period of the 1970s. According to Larry Summers, “the high inflation and high-interest rates of the 1970s generated a revolution in macroeconomic thinking, policy, and institutions,” while the “low inflation, low-interest rates and stagnation of the last decade…deserves at least an equal response.” Further, Summers writes, “the financial crisis had roots in bubbles and excessive leverage caused by efforts to maintain demand after the 2001 recession,” which suggests that perhaps, the maniacal focus on inflation amplified by the experience of the stagflationary nineteen-seventies blinded central banks and policymakers to a build-up in financial risks exacerbated by keeping interest rates “too low for too long” during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.   

The conversation you’re about to hear was recorded on Monday, August 19th, several days before the publication of Jay Powell’s speech, as well as Larry Summers’ tweets. Some of the key questions we attempt to answer during this discussion are: “What’s driving the slow growth environment that we are in?” “Are rates low because central banks are keeping them low, or are rates low because central banks, encouraged by a prolonged period of disinflation, kept interest rates chronically below the ‘natural rate’ for too long, thus encouraging the growth of asset price fueled credit bubbles that have turned central banks from being stewards of the expansion to now being managers of the contraction?” 

Demetri and Claudio also explore the different eras highlighted in Chairman Powell’s speech, search for the origins of inflation targeting as a policy objective, question the efficacy of neutral rate targeting, and consider some of the possible consequences that could arise from an economic model that has increasingly come to rely upon debt financing in order to grow.

In the overtime, Demetri asks Dr. Claudio Borio questions about the BIS 2019 Annual report, with a keen focus on some of the more immediate risks facing the global economy. This week’s rundown is particularly useful for those seeking to gain a deeper sense of the issues discussed during the podcast. You can access that rundown, along with a transcript to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers also gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily be added to your favorite podcast application.

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Subscribe & Support the Podcast at https://patreon.com/hiddenforces

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Claudio Borio has served as Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the BIS for the past six years and has been at the BIS since 1987, having held various positions in the Monetary and Economic Department (MED), including Deputy Head of MED and Director of Research and Statistics as well as Head of Secretariat for the Committee on the Global Financial System and the Gold and Foreign Exchange Committee (now the Markets Committee). From 1985 to 1987, he was an economist at the OECD, working in the country studies branch of the Economics and Statistics Department. Prior to that, he was Lecturer and Research Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford University. He holds a DPhil and an MPhil in Economics and a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the same university. Claudio is author of numerous publications in the fields of monetary policy, banking, finance and issues related to financial stability.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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