The European Central Bank decided to raise interest rates, in an attempt to show its determination to fight inflation. However this decision is based on shaky justifications, which are likely to cause more harm than do any good for citizens’ purchasing power.
Inequality has long been a foremost public concern, but not so for central banks. While the orthodoxy according to which central banks engage in “neutral” policy-making is slowly crippling away, we’re still enormously far from taking the distributional consequences of money creation and allocation seriously. Intensifying the debate on the inequality effects of the central bank’s monetary policy is a small step in that direction. This blog suggests several starting points for that.
A new study traces how climate change became a topic in Europe’s monetary policy. Utilising a novel and extensive dataset, it shows how the European Parliament, early on, called for a greener monetary policy and eventually allied with members of the ECB to forge a consensus on monetary policy and climate change. The study was financially supported by Positive Money Europe and authored by Dr. Elsa Massoc, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for the Advanced Studies of Law and Finance.
The ECB is currently working on introducing a digital currency – to exist alongside banknotes – that citizens and firms can use for everyday payments. A digital euro would be safer than bank deposits and inherently more stable than crypto assets such as Bitcoin. However, many are worrying: How will the ECB make sure that the digital euro respects users’ privacy?