ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Nov
02

The Inflation Targeting Framework of the National Bank of Georgia: Is It the Right Model?

As the Georgian Lari (GEL) briefly depreciated in September 2020, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) once again became the subject of criticism for not being able to stabilize the exchange rate even though it had injected 120 million US$ in the economy. At a press conference (2020/09/16), the President of the NBG objected that the aim of the injection of US$ was not to strengthen the GEL since the NBG operated under a floating exchange rate policy. Rather, he went on to explain, the NBG’s constitutional duty was to ensure price stability on the basis of ...
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Jan
31

Recent Monetary Policy Measures and Lending Regulations — the Effect on Georgian Lending Patterns

High and rising levels of foreign currency indebtedness have been an important topic in Georgia over the past several years. To address this issue and protect borrowers from currency risks, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), as well as the Georgian Government have implemented regulations to hinder excess indebtedness. Let’s have a look at the timeline (Figure 1) of recent lending regulations and the accompanying monetary policy measures and observe their impact on changing lending patterns in the Georgian economy. Figure 1. Timeline of lending regulatio...
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Mar
04

Georgia's New European Modus Operandi

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness … - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities A CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD? The above quote seems to fit the state of affairs in the European Union fairly well, as the EU’s crisis is continuing, getting deeper, and engulfing more actors than when it started. To name a few well-known events and stats: Greece probably had the first ...
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Feb
14

Europe’s Dramatic Monetary Failure

This week, another crazy idea haunted economically faltering Europe. According to the plans of European politicians, the 500 euro note will disappear and cash payments above 5,000 euro will be made illegal. Officially a measure against money laundering, the pretext was correctly debunked by Hans-Werner Sinn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: the true reasons for this step is to push interest rates further down. Big notes allow to store wealth in cash, and if that is not possible anymore, interest rates can be brought even further into the negative, d...
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Sep
14

Georgia’s Currency is Much More Than the GEL/USD Exchange Rate

It is easy to understand what it means for an economy to be weak or strong. We know that a strong economy is characterized by low unemployment and high growth rates. Other desirable traits are, for example, low levels of poverty and income inequality, when all citizens enjoy reasonable standards of living.  Things are less clear when we think about our national currencies.  When designating currencies as “weak” or “strong”, we usually think of the exchange rate against the dollar or the euro. Having a “weak” currency sounds like a bad thing, wh...
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