A simple monetary policy rule to end the euro crisis

It is extremely depressing. After about half year of calm in Europe – mostly due to the efforts of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan – European policy makers have once again messed up and the euro crisis is back on top of the headlines in the financial markets. It is time for the ECB to finally take bold actions and end this crisis once and for all. And no I don’t suggest anymore bailouts or odd credit policies and new weird policy instruments. I have a much simpler suggestion and I am pretty sure it would end the crisis very fast.

My suggestion is that the ECB immediately issues the following statement:

“Effective today the ECB will start to undertake monetary operations to ensure that euro zone M3 growth will average 10% every year until the euro zone output gap has been closed. The ECB will allow inflation to temporarily overshoot the normal 2% inflation. The ECB has decided to undertake these measures as a failure to do so would seriously threatens price stability in the euro zone – given the present growth rate of M3 deflation is a substantial risk – and to ensure financial and economic stability in Europe. A failure to fight the deflationary risks would endanger the survival of the euro.

The ECB will from now on every month announce an operational target for the purchase of a GDP weighted basket of euro zone 2-year government bonds. The purpose of the operations will not be to support any single euro zone government, but to ensure a M3 growth rate that is comparable with long-term price stability. The present growth rate of M3 is deflationary and it is therefore of the highest importance that M3 growth is increased significantly until the deflationary risks have been substantially reduced.

The announced measures are completely within the ECB’s mandate and obligations to ensure price stability and financial stability in the euro zone as spelled out in the Maastricht Treaty.”

The ECB used to have a M3 reference rate. It is time to reintroduce it. In fact it is needed more than ever. So Mario Draghi what are you waiting for? And no you don’t have to ask the Bundesbank for permission.

PS See here to see why the M3 growth target should be 10%.

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