Summary: In this paper, we discuss the interaction between monetary policy and macroprudential policy from both theoretical and practical perspectives based on a literature review, identify the problems and challenges facing the current “twin-pillar” regulatory framework in China and propose a number of reform measures. While monetary policies affect financial stability through the risk-taking channel, macroprudential polices affect price stability and output. Recent studies suggest that, depending on the types of shocks and parameter calibrations, monetary policy instruments and macroprudential instruments are either substitutes for each other, or complementary to each other.
It has been shown in the literature that under conventional parameter calibrations, the optimal policy mix in response to a positive cost-push shock could involve interest rate hikes and relaxation of the countercyclical buffer requirement. That is, monetary policy and macroprudential policy instruments are substitutes in this scenario. On the other hand, the optimal policy mix in response to a positive credit demand shock could involve rate hikes and tightening of the countercyclical buffer requirement. That is, the two policy instruments are complements in this second scenario. In addition, model parameters pertaining to country-specific factors, such as economic and financial market structures, also play an important role in shaping the optimal policy mixes. Therefore, it is essential for policymakers to fully consider the types of shocks as well as country-specific conditions in their analytical framework and policy decisions of optimal monetary and macro-prudential policy mix.
Given the subtle interplay of the two polices, an effective coordination framework is key to achieve both macroeconomic stability and financial stability. In practice, the effectiveness of the coordination mechanism depends on the governance structure (especially the communications between monetary and macroprudential policy makers) and policy makers' ability to understand the spill-over effects of monetary policy and macroprudential policy.
While the PBC has set up the broad governance structure of the “twin-pillar” policy framework, a number of challenges are still lying ahead. First, financial stability is not yet formally listed as one of the specific mandates of the PBC in the Central Bank Law. This lack of clarity in legal mandate is partially responsible for the limited allocation of resources to macro-prudential issues especially the analysis of impact of monetary policy on financial stability. Second, the Macroprudential Assessment (MPA) system of the PBC is, in practice, mainly intended to facilitate the implementation of monetary and credit policies. Third, the lack of coordination mechanism between the MPA and the macro-prudential and micro-prudential instruments of the CBIRC leads to regulatory overlap and duplication. Forth, the macro-prudential authorities lack the appropriate analytical tools for assessing policy spill-over effects and developing optimal policy mixes.
Based on our analysis of the problems facing China and international experiences, we propose the following reform measures. First, adding “financial stability” to the mandate list for the PBC by amending the Central Bank Law. Second, developing methodologies and analytical tools for assessing policy spillover effects and selecting optimal policy mixes of monetary and macroprudential policies. Capacity building and international collaboration is essential to achieve these goals. Third, transfering several macroprudential decision-making roles from CBIRC to the PBC. Fourth, establishing a process and mechanism for coordinating monetary policy and macroprudential policy. The Macroprudential Bureau should be able to conduct quantitative assessment of the effects of monetary policy changes on financial stability, while the Monetary Policy Department should be able to conduct quantitative assessment of the macroeconomic effects of macroprudential policy adjustments.
Key words: Monetary Policy Macroprudential Policy Policy Coordination