NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking

Benjamin M. Friedman

NBER Working Paper No. 7955
Issued in October 2000
NBER Program(s):   ME

The threat to monetary policy from the electronic revolution in banking is the possibility of a decoupling' of the operations of the central bank from markets in which financial claims are created and transacted in ways that, at some operative margin, affect the decisions of households and firms on such matters as how much to spend (and on what), how much (and what) to produce, and what to pay or charge for ordinary goods and services. The object of this paper is to discuss how this possibility arises and what it implies, to dismiss as unessential to the argument various extreme characterizations that have arisen in the recent debate on this issue (for example, that no one will use money for ordinary economic transactions), and to address the specific arguments on the issue offered by Charles Goodhart, Charles Freedman and Michael Woodford.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7955

Published: Friedman, Benjamin M. "Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking." International Finance 3, 2 (July 2000): 261-72.

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