Just what is Monetary Policy Reform?

Economics, Premium POM

By JC Collins

Autonomous monetary policies cannot provide efficient means of directing the financial destiny of any nation.  The interconnectedness of the international financial and monetary systems are such that changes in one area will have a dramatic and sometimes negative reaction in another area.

The dynamic between America’s negative balance of payments and China’s huge trade surplus are signs of this relationship.  The large imbalances in the international framework from using the national currency of one nation as the global reserve asset has been the leading cause of poverty and ineffective income distribution worldwide.

The necessary reforms to address this global poverty and disparity in income distribution could be considered multilateral monetary reforms.  These reforms are focused on three main areas, which are:

  1. Exchange Rate Adjustments
  2. Money Supply Adjustments
  3. Adjustments to Controls on Foreign Capital Flows

Foreign capital flows are the main mechanisms which transfer capital between trade deficits and trade surpluses.  The other two components are used in conjunction to determine the volume and pace of the third.

For any one nation to enact autonomous monetary policies would be counterproductive to the realities of the world today.  At any one time only two of the three areas above can remain autonomous.  This means that there will always be one monetary policy which cannot be autonomous and will remain connected to the larger macroeconomic multilateral framework.

It is this one area which will influence and force change on the others.

An example of this dynamic can be explained by considering the condition of interest parity.  Any nation which holds its domestic currency at a fixed exchange rate with an outside currency, or other exchange rate arrangement, while maintaining a balanced mobility of capital, will find that its interest rate policy will be decided through arbitrage activity.

This condition of interest parity functions across borders and prevents any one nation from maintaining autonomous monetary policies.  The recent interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve and its corresponding effects upon the international monetary system can be considered proof of this dynamic.

As such, it is impossible for any nation to maintain independence and autonomy on:

  1. Fixed Exchange Rates
  2. Money Supply Adjustments
  3. Unregulated International Flows of Financial Capital

Being that the United States dollar has held the title of international reserve unit of account since the end of WW2, it was problematic and inevitable that massive global imbalances would take place.  These imbalances have led to enhanced poverty around the world and caused inefficient income distribution between nations.

Not to mention the large trade deficit which America now holds, and the massive loss of domestic jobs.

Each nation can be interdependent in that its domestic fiscal policies are aligned to capitalize on the effective arrangement and implementation of macroeconomic monetary policies.  Such changes are good for the Unites States and other nations.  The toll which ineffective monetary policy has had on the US is obvious in the loss of factories and jobs, and the huge trade deficit.

This will change with adjustments to the international framework through the implementation of the three monetary policies described above:

  1. Exchange Rate Adjustments
  2. Money Supply Adjustments
  3. Adjustments to Controls on Foreign Capital Flows

Any analysis and prediction on domestic economies or the international economy must consider these larger monetary adjustments in order to be considered accurate or thorough.

The US political establishment understands that the dollar will need to depreciate and that this will bring back factories and jobs as American made goods become affordable once again.  This will boost domestic growth and lower the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Monetary policy reform is not just good for the United States.  It is meant to be good for all nations.  The transition from the unipolar dollar based framework to the multilateral monetary reform based framework will be volatile.  We have already experienced this over the last year or so, and will experience more yet before the transition is complete.

Understanding the dynamics of monetary reform is fundamental to understanding the transition itself.  – JC