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Navigating by r*: safe or hazardous?

Summary:
by Claudio BorioThe concept of the natural rate of interest, or r-star (r*), has risen to prominence in monetary policy following the Great Financial Crisis. No doubt a key reason for the concept's newfound prominence has been the further decline of real and nominal interest rates to new lows, which has further constrained monetary policy's ...

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by Claudio Borio
The concept of the natural rate of interest, or r-star (r*), has risen to prominence in monetary policy following the Great Financial Crisis. No doubt a key reason for the concept's newfound prominence has been the further decline of real and nominal interest rates to new lows, which has further constrained monetary policy's room for manoeuvre. This lecture explores the extent to which the concept can be a useful guide to policy. It concludes that, depending on how it is employed, the concept has the potential of leading policy astray and of complicating the task of regaining the needed policy headroom.
International Settlement
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international company limited by shares owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

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