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By Robert Leeson

This quantity brings jointly a few of the worlds prime economists, to concentration totally on Canadian coverage matters and case learn debates in honor of David Laidler. The e-book commemorates his good fortune and energetic participation within the examine and research of financial coverage.

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Especially in unsettled financial markets, this approach could produce economically trivial variations in the policy rate from the level intended by the Bank, which observers could interpret as policy signals. In 1994, the Bank began setting a 50-basis-point target range for the overnight rate. In 1996, the top of that range became the Bank Rate. This direct setting eliminated the noise inherent in the old arrangement. William Robson 21 In the second half of the 1990s, problems arising from the Bank’s discretion over the timing of its policy-rate setting became acute.

See Howitt (1990b and 1997) for discussion of these issues before and after the establishment of targets. In a December 2005 speech, he said that while recent work at the Bank provided somewhat more support for a lower target than had been the case at the last review of the target in 2001, the evidence did not make a compelling case for a lower target at the 2006 renewal (Thorpe 2006, A1). The 2002 renewal of New Zealand’s inflation targets contained an informal prescription of this sort, which may amount to nothing more in practice than its counterpart in the Bank of Canada’s mandate.

A specific challenge to the Bank of Canada’s control that attracts occasional attention is some combination of economic integration with a larger currency area – presumably the US-dollar area – and exchangerate volatility that could lead Canadians to cease using the Canadian dollar in their transactions: a spontaneous dollarization. Again, it seems rash to rule such a possibility out. Canadians’ nervousness over their national identity and often-disappointing relative economic performance against the US have at times provoked predictions that it was under way.

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