Discussion paper

DP13072 Monetary Easing, Lack of Investment and Financial Instability

Low monetary policy rates lower the cost of capital for firms, thereby spurring productive investment. Low interest rates however can also induce the private sector to enter into risky carry trades when they imply that the earned carry more than offsets liquidity risk. Such carry trades and productive investment compete for funds, so much so that the former may crowd out the latter. Below an endogenous lower bound, monetary easing generates only limited capital expenditures that come at the cost of large and destabilizing financial risk-taking. Absent the ability to regulate carry trades, monetary easing must be complemented with a limited lender-of-last-resort (LOLR) policy in the form of higher lending rates so as to discourage risk-taking by relatively illiquid firms. Monetary easing, tepid investment response, and rollover risk for liquid firms then arise jointly (and optimally) in equilibrium.


Acharya, V, G Plantin, P Reggiani and I Yao (2018), ‘DP13072 Monetary Easing, Lack of Investment and Financial Instability‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 13072. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp13072