For institutions that are so inclined to ‘boring’ policy-making, as the former governor of the Bank of England once put it (King 2000), central banks’ recent adoptions of non-standard policies has been remarkable. And for a central bank that is often characterized as a particularly conservative institution, the embracing of non-standard policies by the European Central Bank (ECB) is, if possible, even more remarkable. Since the start of the crisis, the ECB has not only acted on the main refinancing rate, but has also granted banks unlimited access to liquidity against a broadened and riskier range of collateral, and intervened directly in some market segments through asset purchases. Further the ECB has also revised its communication strategy by providing guidance on the expected future path of its monetary policy stance.
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