Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment. Monetary theory provides insight into how to craft optimal monetary policy. It is referred to as either being expansionary or contractionary, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy more rapidly than usual, and contractionary policy expands the money supply more slowly than usual or even shrinks it. Expansionary policy is traditionally used to try to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates in the hope that easy credit will entice businesses into expanding. Contractionary policy is intended to slow inflation in hopes of avoiding the resulting distortions and deterioration of asset values.
Monetary policy differs from fiscal policy, which refers to taxation, government spending, and associated borrowing.
Famous quotes containing the words monetary and/or policy:
“There is no legislationI care not what it istariff, railroads, corporations, or of a general political character, that all equals in importance the putting of our banking and currency system on the sound basis proposed in the National Monetary Commission plan.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them.”
—Walter Lippmann (18891974)