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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Innovations in monetary policy measures: The view from Slovenia

Alexandra Zeitz (Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford)

On Tuesday May 5, PEFM was treated to a rare and candid insight into non-standard monetary policy measures, as Governor BoĊĦtjan Jazbec of the Bank of Slovenia discussed the effectiveness of these policies both at the European and national level.

How to evaluate European experiments with unconventional monetary policy measures? On the one hand, some analysts claim that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) experimentation was too little too late, lagging behind the quantitative easing (QE) programmes of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. And yet, the most far-reaching of these policy measures, the expanded asset purchase program was launched just under four months ago, too little time to evaluate its effectiveness.

Jazbec has been governor of Slovenia’s central bank since July 2013. He insisted that non-standard policy measures in the Eurozone must be understood as a whole package, encompassing a range of temporary measures aimed at shoring up the effectiveness of monetary policy in a context of financial system distress: refinancing operations, currency swap arrangements, collateral requirements, securities purchase programmes, and negative deposit rates and forward guidance.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Too big to jail? Prosecuting financial misconduct in the US

Alexandra Zeitz (Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford)

Speaker: Brandon L. Garrett, Professor of Law, University of Virginia
Chair: Stewart Fleming, Senior Member, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford

There are several tools for improving conduct in the financial industry: addressing culture and ethics, improving supervisory oversight, tightening regulation. But when a pattern of misconduct has occurred, it becomes time for law enforcement to step in.

Over the last years there have been high profiles cases of investigations and prosecutions into criminal misconduct by banks. This has been most frequent in the US, leading the Financial Times to dub the American Department of Justice “the harshest prosecutor of corporate offences in the world”.

Yet all is often not as it seems with these high-profile cases and penalties, as Brandon Garrett, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, explained at a PEFM seminar in early June. Garrett recently published a book on the matter, Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations.