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LÁMFALUSSY LECTURES 2021

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LÁMFALUSSY LECTURES 2021

 
 

The next annual Lamfalussy conference will be on Monday, January 25, 2021. Due to the pandemic it will be online. The Lamfalussy Lectures Series, named after Baron Alexandre Lamfalussy, „the father of the Euro”, is an annual international conference hosted by the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, the central bank of Hungary.

The title of the 2021 Lamfalussy conference is „The future of monetary policy after Covid-19 with a perspective for public debt evolution”. The conference will start at 14:00 CET (Central European Time) with an introductory speech by the Governor of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, followed by the Lamfalussy lecture given by the winner of this year’s Lamfalussy Award, and a keynote speech.  A panel discussion will ensue from 14:45 to 16:00 hours, with four speakers and a moderator.

With the Covid shock, monetary policy has again navigated into uncharted waters. The response to GFC, in the various forms of quantitative easing, was considered at the time as a leap into the dark. Now, the framework of monetary policy has been further stretched beyond what was imaginable at the time QE was launched. Not only the scale has been much larger, but we witnessed SPVs  and direct debt monetization  which have blurred the boundaries between monetary and fiscal policies, as well as direct central bank lending to corporations and households, thus bypassing the normal channels of financial intermediation. While not questioning the need for monetary and fiscal expansion to reboot the economies, one should look beyond the short-term and reflect on what should be the monetary policy framework for the years ahead. Is there a danger of inflation expectations suddenly taking off?  What should be a proper exit strategy to avoid that happening? The current low level of inflation should not let us believe that with the kind of liquidity injection we are witnessing, inflation has been tamed for ever. How would we deal with the mountain of public debt building up so rapidly?  The banking sector has been in a much stronger position at the outset of Covid than it had been prior to GFC. However, the very low level of interest rate may encourage riskier lending while bank profits are squeezed. With growth faltering, is there a danger of NPLs increasing to a point that it can endanger financial stability?  Plenty of questions indeed! The conference speakers have been asked to address these questions.

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