Past, Present and Future: Monetary Policy

Apr 01, 2008Apr 02, 2008


Session One: Tuesday, April 1st
"The History of Interest Rates"

Dr. Jared Rubin
Professor of Economics
California State, Fullerton 

Click Here to view Dr. Rubin's PDF.

Click Here for a video archive of day one.  

Session Two: Wednesday, April 2nd
"Inflation Targeting"
Dr. Marvin Goodfriend
Professor of Economics, Chairman
Carnegie Mellon,
The Gailliot Center for Public Policy 

Click Here for a video archive of day two.

As the global economy faces an economic crisis, central banks throughout the world are working to right their respective economies. Each central bank has numerous tools at its disposal to accomplish this, yet there are only two main philosophies about how to correct the current situation and still leave your nation poised for future long term growth.

The most well known tool a central bank has to influence the economy is the interest rate, which Dr. Jared Rubin will talk about in his Tuesday discussion. Interest rates were invented to encourage people to lend money and have been around for centuries, yet sometimes governments have tampered with or even outlawed their use. Dr. Rubin will look at the regulations on interest rates which led to the divergence of banking systems between the West and the Middle East .

The United States Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) is working to spur the economy forward with aggressive pro-growth actions. These actions are intended to minimize the economic slump and avoid, or at least shorten, a recession by focusing on GDP growth. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) is more worried about inflation, and therefore, is not pursuing high growth policy measures. Instead they are leaving interest rates fixed, and waiting for the economy to correct itself. In our second lecture, Dr. Marvin Goodfriend will discuss this technique know as inflation targeting.

The third day will address the recent actions the Fed has taken to spur our economy forward. Many of the monetary tools they are using have never been used before, and we will discuss what is the Fed doing, how is the Fed doing it, and why.

The MercatusCenter at GeorgeMasonUniversity is pleased to host a three day course which will discuss the topics of current monetary policy, inflation targeting, and interest rates, as well as answer specific questions and concerns, such as:

  • How do the recent actions by the Fed affect the economy?
  • What is inflation targeting, and what are its consequences and benefits?
  • What are interest rates, why do we have them, and how have they evolved?

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