Normalizing Central Banks’ Balance Sheets: What is the New Normal?

July 11, 2017

A conference jointly sponsored by Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


With nominal interest rates in many developed countries compressed near historically low levels in the years since the global financial crisis, a number of central banks around the globe were forced to expand the set of tools and operations used to achieve their monetary policy objectives. Central banks have adopted a variety of approaches, but one common feature of their unconventional policies is a large expansion of their balance sheets.

As the outlook for the global economy improves, central banks will begin the process of tightening policy. When should central bank balance sheets be unwound? What are the intended financial market effects of these changes and what are potential unintended consequences? How will the monetary policy transmission mechanism work as these policies are unwound? What would be a desired composition of the central bank balance sheet in the medium- or longer-term? What are the tactical considerations in the approach, including the implications for the speed and composition of reducing balance sheets? What should be communicated about how these policies will evolve? Looking more globally, what are the international spillovers? How might global funding markets be affected by the reversal of unconventional policies?

This workshop will bring together international experts in monetary policy design and implementation—academics, industry experts, as well as current and former central bankers—to raise and discuss strategic issues and practical considerations associated with an exit from unconventional balance sheet policies as well as to reflect on the impact these actions will have around the globe.

Event Details

Date & Time
July 11, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045

Agenda & Presentations

Opening remarks
Simon Potter, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Strategic Issues
Facilitator: Patricia Mosser, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
Robin Greenwood, Harvard Business School | Presentation
Roberto Perli, Cornerstone Macro | Presentation
Athanasios Orphanides, MIT Sloan School of Management | Presentation
Lunch - Keynote Address
Lael Brainard, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System | Remarks
Practical Considerations
Facilitator: Jim Clouse, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Michael Feroli, JP Morgan | Presentation
Bill Nelson, The Clearing House | Presentation
Laurie Goodman, Urban Institute | Presentation
Coffee break
Global Impacts
Facilitator: Dave Altig, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Andrea Maechler, Swiss National Bank | Presentation
Prakash Kannan, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation | Presentation
Seiichi Shimizu, Bank of Japan | Presentation
Wrap-up observations
Donald Kohn, Brookings Institution

Audience is by invitation only.

Conference Organizers
Patricia Mosser, Columbia University
Julie Remache, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Antoine Martin, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

This event is open to the media. Chatham House Rule will be in effect for all but the keynote address; media may report on comments made during the event, but may not attribute remarks to individuals or organizations. To register, please contact Suzanne Elio at the New York Fed, suzanne.elio@ny.frb.org

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