Central Banks Find That a Tool to Curb Bubbles Is Doing the Job

Central bankers are starting to see promising results from one of the recent additions to their monetary policy toolbox, Bloomberg News reported. Lending curbs to stem financial risk -- so-called macroprudential limits -- have helped slow risky borrowing and temper property price bubbles in countries from New Zealand to Canada, a host of financial stability reports showed this week. While there hasn’t been uniform success -- Hong Kong’s housing market shows no signs of cooling -- it’s given central banks some breathing space to be more gradual in tightening monetary policy. “If you think about lessons from the global financial crisis, macroprudential is one of the key lessons,” said Steven Bell, chief economist at BMO Global Asset Management in London. “It was a tool of counter-cyclical credit tightening, and I think that’s going to be a permanent feature.” Read more.