Informal Central Bank Communication

Annette Vissing-Jorgensen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Starting from a set of facts on the timing of stock returns relative to Federal Reserve decision-making, I argue that informal communication – including unattributed communication - plays a central role in monetary policy communication. This contrasts with the standard communications framework in which communication should be public and on-the-record because it serves to ensure accountability and policy effectiveness. I lay out possible benefits of using unattributed communication as an institution, but these should be weighed against substantial costs: It runs counter to accountability to use unattributed communication, causes frustration among those trying to understand central bank intensions, and enables use of such communication by individual policymakers. Unattributed communication driven by policymaker disagreements is unambiguously welfare reducing, because it reduces policy flexibility and harms the central bank’s credibility and decision-making process. I suggest that central banks resist unattributed communication via expensive newsletters and increase consensus-building efforts to reduce disagreement-driven unattributed communication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2020
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventECB Forum on Central Banking 2020 - Online event, Sintra, Portugal
    Duration: 11 Nov 202012 Nov 2020


    ConferenceECB Forum on Central Banking 2020
    LocationOnline event
    Internet address

    Cite this