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Cryptos and the Role of Monetary Policy in Crises | Podcast

Cryptos and the Role of Monetary Policy in Crises | Podcast

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Talking points on this podcast:

  • Can monetary policy be effective against coronavirus?
  • What happens when central banks get involved with cryptos?
  • How to ‘spring clean’ your portfolio

This time on Trading Global Markets Decoded, our host Martin Essex is joined by Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments. This time, we discuss the efficacy of monetary policy in countering coronavirus, the likely outcome of central bank experiments with cryptocurrencies, and how to ‘spring clean’ your portfolio. You can listen to this podcast by clicking on the YouTube link above or by using one of the alternative platforms listed below.

Can monetary policy be effective against Coronavirus?

The podcast begins with monetary policy and its effect on the coronavirus outbreak. “There’s a general view that any interest rate changes by the central banks are more symbolic than providing a great deal of support,” Andrew says. “Clearly a reduction in borrowing costs is helpful for a number of firms [hindered by coronavirus], but many others are going to need a whole series of other measures, which hopefully central banks will also be able to supply.”

These include keeping corporate bond markets open, making sure banks are continuing to lend, and providing overdrafts. “But other aspects will be fiscal. If firms are facing tax problems it’s for the tax authorities to be assisting, if households are facing shortfalls in income, it’ll have to be through the benefits system probably, perhaps the tax system if this is a longstanding affair.”

How much can cryptos affect monetary policy?

What about the effect cryptos can have on monetary policy decisions? “The amount of money currently invested in cryptocurrencies is relatively small; it would not form part of the portfolio of most retail investors and certainly not in institutional terms,” he says. Liquidity is a big reason for this, with Andrew pointing to the likes of gilts, Japanese bonds and Treasuries as much more liquid assets.

He adds that part of the problem faced by a number of the digital currencies is the complexity of the system – a whole series of wallets and exchanges which aren’t necessarily compatible to buying and selling such products. “So I don’t think there is much of an implication [on monetary policy]; central banks are always on the lookout for asset price bubbles, but it’s probably more of an issue for financial policy regulation and making sure that anyone investing in these products is walking in with eyes wide open, than actually much of an implication today for central bank policy making or the price of financial assets.”

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