M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Paul Sheard

DATE CHANGE: October 30, 4:00 – 5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room, B-503

 Since the Global Finance Crisis and Great Recession, developed-world central banks have adopted all kinds of “unconventional monetary policies” (UMP), some of which have since become conventional: ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), NIRP (negative interest rate policy), QE (quantitative easing), “credit easing,” “forward guidance,” macroprudential policy, and, most recently, “yield curve control.” Many central banks are still actively employing unconventional monetary policies and there is much soul-searching in policy circles about what monetary and other policy tools might be able to be mobilized in future economic downturns, particularly if central banks start from deep in unconventional monetary policy territory (helicopter money, anybody?).

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) was the pioneer of almost all of these unconventional monetary policies (the exception being NIRP – the Europeans got there first). This Study Group will examine the BOJ’s experience since the late 1990s in developing the unconventional monetary policies that later went global, and compare and contrast them with the unconventional monetary policies of other central banks such as the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. The Study Group will draw on Paul Sheard’s more than thirty years of experience as a BOJ-watcher. 

Background reading
Bank of Japan, 2019: “Statement on Monetary Policy,” Sep 19, 5pp, https://www.boj.or.jp/en/announcements/release_2019/k190919a.pdf

Paul Sheard, 2016: “Negative Interest Rates: Why Central Banks Can Defy ‘Time Preference,’” S&P Global Ratings RatingsDirect, Feb 3, 15pp

Paul Sheard, 2016: “The Bank of Japan Breaks New Ground – And It May Work This Time,” S&P Global Ratings RatingsDirect, Oct 7, 12pp

Photo of Paul Sheard speakingPaul Sheard is a veteran central bank watcher and markets economist, who has written and spoken widely on QE and unconventional monetary policies. He most recently was Vice Chairman of S&P Global, after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Economist and earlier Executive Managing Director and Chief Economist of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Previously, he held chief economist positions at Nomura Securities and at Lehman Brothers and was Head of Japan Equity Investments at Baring Asset Management. Earlier, Sheard was Lecturer in Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) and Osaka Gas International Cooperation Associate Professor of Economics at Osaka University, and was Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Foreign Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan. Sheard is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda and was a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the International Monetary System (2010-2012). He served on committees of the Japanese Government’s Economic Deliberation Council, as an appointee of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto (1997-98) and as an appointee of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi (1998-1999), and was a member of the oversight board of the Japanese Government’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (2001-2006).  From 2003 to 2010, he was a non-executive director of ORIX Corporation. In 2006, Sheard was recognized by Advance as one of a 100 Leading Global Australians. Sheard is on the board of the Foreign Policy Association and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of New York. He speaks regularly at conferences around the world, and his views on the global economy and policy issues are frequently cited in the international press. Author or editor of four books and numerous academic articles, Sheard’s 1997 book in Japanese, Mein Banku Shihon Shugi no Kiki: Biggu Ban de Kawaru Nihongata Keiei (The Crisis of Main Bank Capitalism: How Japanese-style Management Will Change with “Big Bang”), won the Suntory-Gakugei Prize in the Economics–Politics Division. Sheard received a BA (Hons) from Monash University and a Master of Economics and PhD in Japanese Economy from the ANU. While a Senior Fellow, he will work on a project called, “Rethinking and Retooling the Macroeconomic Policy Framework.” His faculty sponsor is Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy.  Email: paul_sheard@hks.harvard.edu