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On Interest Rate Policy and Asset Bubbles
In a provocative paper, Gal (2014) showed that a policymaker who raises interest rates to rein in a potential bubble will only make a bubble bigger if one exists. This poses a challenge to advocates of lean-against-the-wind policies that call for raising interest rates to mitigate potential bubbles. In this paper, we argue there are situations in which the lean-against-the wind view is justified. First, we argue Gal?s framework abstracts from the possibility that a policymaker who raises rates will crowd out resources that would have otherwise been spent on the bubble. Once we modify Gal?s ...
The Roots of ‘Bubbly’ Recessions
A downturn following the collapse of an asset bubble ? an episode of speculative booms in asset prices ? can be severe and sustained, with output and employment often lower than in the prebubble economy. This Economic Brief considers some possible theoretical explanations. It argues, based on insights from a simple economic model, that the interaction among financial frictions, wage rigidity, and the constraints of monetary policy near the zero lower bound is a key source of inefficiency in large bubbles. One potential remedy is to regulate speculative investment on bubbly assets so that ...