Another look at our Global Monetary Conditions Monitor – the case of Hungary

Yesterday, we wrote a short post on Israeli monetary policy and linked to one page on Israeli monetary conditions to give an example of how the “country pages” in our – Markets & Money Advisory – new monthly flagship publication Global Monetary Conditions Monitor (GMCM) will look like. We expect to publish the first edition in March – coinciding with the launch of our new website.

So what is the GMCM? Overall one can say it is our attempt to create a measure of monetary conditions for investors and policy makers alike so they can track global monetary developments.

It will not be a forecasting publication as such, but obviously investors can use the publication to make informed decisions on investments as there certainly is no doubt that changes in monetary conditions have a significant impact on changes asset prices.

The overall structure in GMCM will be the following.

First of all, the firsts page (5-6 pages) will discuss global monetary developments with a particular focus on what we call the Global Monetary Superpowers – the Federal Reserve, PBoC, ECB, BoJ, BoE and SNB. The discussion will be based both on our new composite indicator of monetary conditions (see more below) in each of the “Superpowers” and on what the financial markets are telling us about monetary conditions and expectations for monetary policy.

This will be followed by a monthly “special topic” (1-2 pages). That could for example be about the relationship between our measure(s) of global monetary conditions and the development in equity prices or commodity prices or we could decide to zoom in on monetary policy developments in a given country that we find of particular interest.

Finally we will “country pages” for each of the 25 countries covered in the publication. The countries are the following:

Czech Republic
Euro zone
New Zealand
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States

We expect to expand the number of countries to more than 30 countries in the coming months based on client requests and interests. The main focus is on countries with floating exchange rates with inflation targets or similar nominal targets. If  you are missing a country you are terribly interested in please let us know.

Each country page will consist of six graphs.

The first graph will be a graph for the development in our composite indicator for monetary conditions in that given country. This indicator is calibrated so that a value of zero indicates that the central bank is likely to hit its inflation target in the medium-term (2-3 years).

A score below (above) zero indicates that the central bank will undershoot (overshoot) its inflation target and hence is keeping monetary conditions too tight (easy). Overall, we define monetary conditions to be “broadly neutral” when the indicator is between -0.5 and +0.5.

The second graph will be a graph with an inflation forecast for the given country three years ahead. The inflation forecasts is based on composite indicator for the monetary conditions (assuming no supply side shocks).

In addition to that there will be four graphs on the sub-indicators on which the composite indicator is constructed.

These indicators are the following: Broad money supply growth (typically M2 or M2), nominal demand growth (typically nominal GDP or nominal consumption expenditure), exchange rate developments and finally the key policy interest rates.

For each of these these indicators we calculate a level or a growth rate, which we think would be consistent with the given central bank’s inflation target. Based on this we calculate a gap between the policy-consistent growth rate of for example the money supply and the actual growth rate of the money supply. This gap we use as input into our composite indicator.

The Hungary central bank is on track to (nearly) hit its 3% inflation target

Yesterday we showed an example of how such a country page in the GMCM would look like. Yesterday’s example was Israel because we had a Israeli monetary policy decision yesterday. If you missed it yesterday have a look at the country page for Bank of Israel here.

Today we have another monetary policy decision in Hungary. Therefore we think it is suiting to use Hungary as the next example of a country page.

This is how it looks.


If you want a closer look you can also see it in PDF here.

We are already getting a lot of feedback on the GMCM, but would be very happy to hear what you think so we can incorporate comments and ideas before the launch of the GMCM.

The Global Monetary Conditions Monitor will be priced at EUR 2,000 for a 12-month subscription. Furthermore, discounts can be negotiated for more than one subscription or as part of a general advisory deal.

If you want to hear more about Global Monetary Conditions Monitor please contact us by mail on (Lars Christensen) or (Laurids Rising).

See more on the Global Monetary Conditions Monitor:

M&M Advisory to launch new publication on Global Monetary Conditions

Our Global Monetary Conditions Monitor – what we write about Bank of Israel


Our Global Monetary Conditions Monitor – what we write about Bank of Israel

It is hard to be very critical about the conduct of monetary policy in Israel. I have earlier praised the Bank of Israel (BoI) for essentially being an NGDP targetter and when Stanley Fischer was BoI governor nominal GDP basically was kept on a straight line (see here).

And even though Fischer’s successor Karnit Flug initially back in 2014 kept monetary conditions slightly too tight (see here) it now seems like the BoI under Flug’s leadership is back on track.

At least that is what our – Markets & Money Advisory’s – composite indicator for Israeli monetary conditions is showing.

Introducing Global Monetary Conditions Monitor

The indicator will be part of the first edition of our new flagship publication Global Monetary Conditions Monitor (GMCM), which will be published in March and given the Bank of Israel today (3pm CET) has its monetary policy announce we thought it would be a good idea to share a page from the upcoming GMCM on israel.

You will see the country page on Israeli monetary conditions here.


You can also see the page as a PDF here.

When we put out GMCM there will be 25 such pages on different countries plus of course addition commentary on global monetary matters. A 12 month subscription will be priced at EUR 2,000.

If you are interested in more information on the Global Monetary Conditions Monitor please let us know. Mail to or

Please share!


As expected the BoI kept its key policy rate unchanged at 0.1%.

See more on the Global Monetary Conditions Monitor:

M&M Advisory to launch new publication on Global Monetary Conditions

Did you book your speaker? Book me

Did you book your speaker for this year’s seminar or conference? You might as well book me!

See a sample of my speeches here.

To book me internationally see here.

In Denmark see here.

Or contact me directly:

Recent speaking topics include:

  • Populism and the global economy and markets
  • 1930s style politics: Monetary policy failure and the emergence of Trump, Le Pen and Brexit
  • Will the euro survive the German, Dutch and French elections in 2017?
  • The African growth miracle
  • China will never be the largest economy in the world
  • Russia: Between oil prices, lack of reforms and geopolitical uncertainty
  • The Maghreb economies: A coming miracle or permanent stagnation?
  • Oil prices, monetary policy and the crisis in the Gulf States economies
  • Prediction markets – why governments and central banks should leave forecasts to the market
  • Global economic and financial outlook 2017/2018
  • Currency wars – good or bad?
  • The end of the ‘dollar bloc’
  • Global Monetary developments: The end of deflation?


The economic suffering of the Greek people is horrendous and it has to stop – interview on TRT World

Yesterday I was interviewed for TRT World about the Greek economy and possible Grexit. Have a look here.

Greece’s continued suffering

Greece is once again back on the agenda in the European financial markets and we are once again talking about Greek default and even about Grexit. There seems to be no end to the suffering of the Greek economy and the Greek population.

I must say that I have a lot of sympathy with the Greeks – they have terrible policy makers and no matter how many austerity measures are implemented there is no signs of any visible improvement either in public finances or in the overall economic performance.

Hence, the Greek economy has essentially been in decline for nearly nine years and there seems to be no signs of it changing.

To me there is no doubt what the main reason it – it is the monetary strangulation of the Greek economy due to the countries membership of the euro area.

I don’t like to see the euro area fall apart and I believe it can be avoided, but on the other hand I have a very hard time seeing Greece getting out of this crisis without either receiving a more or less complete debt write-off or leaving the euro area (or both).

ECB can’t do much more

Since 2008 there has been two dimensions to the monetary strangulation of the Greek economy.

First of all for much of the period since 2008 the ECB has kept overall euro zone monetary conditions far too tight to achieve its own 2% inflation target as illustrated by our – Markets & Money Advisory’s – composite indicator for monetary conditions in the euro zone, which shows that monetary conditions in the euro zone essentially were too tight from 2008 until early 2015 and only has been broadly neutral (indicator close to zero) over the past 20 months or so.


Second, the euro zone is not an optimal currency area and it is very clear that Greece today needs significantly easier monetary conditions than for example Germany, which might need tighter monetary conditions.

Looking at these to factors it is clear that the ECB indeed has moved in the right direction in the last two years and overall we believe that monetary conditions right now are about right for the euro zone as a whole. However, the problem is that monetary conditions still is far too tight for Greece.

As long as overall euro zone monetary conditions were too tight there was a good argument that the ECB should ease monetary policy to ensure that it would hit its 2% inflation target over the medium-term and that would help Greece. However, that is not really the case now. While there is no reason for the ECB to tighten monetary conditions it is today much harder to argue for new measures to ease euro zone monetary conditions.

That makes Greece’s problem even more acute and makes the argument for Greek euro exit even stronger.

The problem of course is that Greece is damned no matter what. If Greece stays in the euro area then the hardship continues for the Greek people and there is no reason to believe that more austerity fundamentally will improve public finances and while there have been some signs of growth beginning to pick over the past year any minor tightening of monetary policy from the ECB will likely send Greece directly back to recession.

On the other hand if Greece where to leave the euro area it is unlikely it would happen in an orderly fashion. Rather it is likely to happen in a chaotic fashion and lot of things could go badly wrongly – also for the rest of the euro zone. Just think about what speculation it would create regarding possible Italian or even French euro exit. And will euro exit also mean EU exit and what will be the geopolitical ramifications of this?

So it is not an easy choice. However, I continue to believe that it would be both in the interest of Greece and of the rest of euro area as a whole that Greece leaves the euro area.

The suffering will have to end. However, Greece should not be kicked out of the euro. Rather Greece should be helped out of the euro. Unfortunately there is little will within the EU or the ECB to make this happen and populists around Europe are eager to use this debacle to further sabotage European reforms.


See also my earlier posts on Greece her:

When effort and outcome is not the same thing – the case of Greece

A simple measure of European political instability – yes, Greece tops the ranking

Greece versus Turkey: It’s the exchange rate exchange rate regime stupid!

“You are both gentlemen…or something” – debating Greece with Lorcan Roche Kelly

How the RECOVERY will look like when Greece leaves the euro

The end game or a new beginning for Greece? We have seen all this before

Political unrest is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon – also in Greece

Greece in the news – 81 years ago…

Greece is not really worse than Germany (if you adjust for lack of growth)

Remember the last time Greece was kicked out of a monetary union?

Marek Belka suggests dual currency solution for Greece

Argentine lessons for Greece

Germany 1931, Argentina 2001 – Greece 2011?

Decision time for the Russian central bank: To cut or not to

We will soon be launching our new monthly publication Global Monetary Conditions Monitor (GMCM), which will be available from our new ‘research shop’ when we soon launch Markets & Money Advisory’s new website.

GMCM will be covering 25-30 countries and overall we will differentiate between what we term the Global Monetary Superpowers (Fed, PBoC, ECB, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and SNB) and other central banks.

At the core of the publication will be a composite indicator for monetary conditions in each of the countries in the Monitor.

The indicator is constructed as an weighted average of four sub-indicators – broad money supply growth, nominal GDP growth, exchange rate developments and the key policy rate. Each of these four indicators are compared to what we call a policy-consistent growth rate or level for each indicator.

Russian money supply growth nearly on track

If we for example look at broad money supply (M2) growth for Russia (which has a monetary policy decision today) we find the policy consistent growth rate for M2 based on the equation of exchange.

We can write the equation of exchange in growth terms like this:

(1) m + v = p + y

Where m is broad money supply growth, v is the growth rate of money-velocity, p is inflation (GDP deflator) and y is real GDP growth.

We can now insert the inflation target for Russia (4%) as well as the trend growth in real GDP (y*) and the trend money-velocity growth (v*) and by re-arranging (1) we get a policy consistent growth rate for M2 (m-target):

(2) m-target =  4% + y* – v*

We find y* and v* by applying a so-called HP-filter to real GDP and money-velocity.

The graph below shows the historical development in M2 growth and the policy consistent growth rate for M2 (based on an assumption of an 4% inflation target).

Skærmbillede 2017-02-03 kl. 08.37.57.png

It should of course be noted that historically the Russian inflation target has been higher than 4% and there Russian central bank has only in recent years introduced an implicit inflation target.

However, we can nonetheless compare the present actual M2 growth with and the policy consistent growth rate and construct what we call a M2 growth gap.

The M2 growth gap is a three-year weighted average of the difference between actual M2 growth and the policy consistent growth rate for M2. If the M2 growth gap is positive then M2 growth is too fast to ensure that the 4% inflation target will be hit in the medium-term (2-3 years).

We use the M2 growth gap as the one of the four sub-indicators in our composite indicator for monetary conditions.

The three other sub-indicators are also mostly “on track”

Similarly we calculate gaps and sub-indicators for nominal GDP growth, exchange rate growth and the level of the key policy rate.

Overall we use the same logic as when calculating the M2 growth gap when we are calculating the three other sub-indicators.

For example when we calculate the policy consistent growth rate for the exchange rate we find the rate of appreciate or depreciation of the nominal effective ruble rate, which will ensure 4% inflation in the medium-term given the underlying trend in the real effective exchange rate (reflecting for example productive and terms-of-trade trends) and given the trend in foreign prices.

Hence, we essentially in the same way as we used the equation of exchange to calculate the M2 growth gap we for the exchange rate use the Purchasing Power Parity (corrected for trends in the real effective exchange rate) to calculate the exchange rate growth gap and hence the sub-indicator for the ruble rate.

The graph below graph below shows exchange rate gap.


The graph shows that over the past 6-9 months the ruble has appreciated faster than the policy consistent appreciation (actually depreciation) rate and as a result we have seen a negative exchange rate gap develop indicating the development in the forex markets is contributing to a tightening of Russian monetary conditions.

In terms of the overall composite indicator for Russian monetary conditions the too fast board money growth is more or less offset by the too fast appreciation of the ruble, while nominal GDP and the key policy rate are close to policy consistent levels as shown below.

Russian monetary conditions nearly on track

Based on these four sub-indicators we construct our composite indictor for Russian monetary conditions as seen in the graph below.

Skærmbillede 2017-02-03 kl. 09.08.01.png

We see that the indicator remains slightly above zero, which indicates that inflation risks still remains slightly on the upside compared to the Russian central bank’s (CBR) 4% inflation target for 2017. That said, overall monetary conditions in Russia should be considered broadly neutral and overall our indicator lead us to expect Russian inflation between 4% and 5% in the coming 1-3 years (disregarding possible supply side shocks).

As a consequence, it is not surprising that some analysts expect the CBR to cut its key policy interest rate later today or announce intervention in the FX market to curb the appreciation of the ruble.

We would think that would be slightly premature to ease monetary conditions as inflation risks still are slightly to the upside compared to the 4% inflation target, but a minor rate cut of 25 or 50bp should certainly not be seen as irresponsible particularly given the continued appreciation trend in the ruble. Furthermore, we should stress that the purpose of our monetary conditions indicator is not to forecast monetary policy decision, but rather to evaluate whether monetary policy is on track or to easy or tight given the central bank’s inflation target.

If you think that our composite indicator for monetary conditions could be of interest to you as a financial markets partipant or as a policy makers don’t hesitate to contact us regarding more information about how to subscribe to Global Monetary Condition Monitor (GMCM). A 12 month subscription for GMCM will be priced at EUR 2,000. For more information please email or






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