From Bretton Woods to inflation targeting: financial change and monetary policy evolution in Europe
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Different ‘monetary architectures’ are distinguished, as a background to a discussion of the change in developed country monetary policy frameworks from fixed exchange rates under the Bretton Woods international monetary system to, ultimately, formal or informal inflation targeting. The introduction and experience of monetary targets in the 1970s is considered, followed by an analysis of the changes in countries’ monetary architectures, with particular reference to money and bond markets and to France and Italy, in the 1980s. Exchange rate targeting in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s is examined, followed by the changes in central bank independence in the 1990s. This leads to a discussion of the introduction of inflation targeting, and the issues raised for inflation targeting by the financial crisis of the late 2000s.