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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Country focus: The Gambia Re: the financial, economic and other ramifications of printing new currency and minting new coins part 4

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Momodou Camara (Acca)

The timing and introduction of the new banknotes and minting of coins-(if any) is bad and ill conceived.

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From our financial news terminal here at Money and Markets @ Standard Newspaper, we have been looking at the latest move by the Central Bank of The Gambia.

The Central Bank which is commonly known as the bankers’ bank have leading roles and responsibilities to play in any democratic dispensation with ours being no different.

The Central Bank is culpable like many institutions in a Post-Jammeh Era after enabling a dictator and acting in many instances unethically and going against finance rules and regulations as per international standards and norm.

The Central Bank of The Gambia is equally a crime scene and a lot should have been done to clean it before touting or entertaining any idea of printing new bank notes or minting of any coins. But this is Gambia and here we go again while NEVER AGAIN is crying on the sidelines.

I have nothing against anybody who works at that banks but they have been very instrumental in aiding and abetting a dictator.

I still remember my encounters with them between 2009 and 2012 when I go there to pick up INDICATIVE RATES FORECAST for my Daily Observer Column and how they were scared to work with me to getting the Dalasi analysed.

Gambia O’ Gambia when will public servant start to act ethical and defend the constitution and do what is right as opposed to enabling dictators and dictatorships?
A Central Bank, Reserve Bank, or Monetary Authority is the institution that manages the currency, money supply, and interest rates of a state or formal monetary union, and oversees their commercial banking system.

In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and also generally controls the printing/coining of the national currency,[2] which serves as the state’s legal tender.

A central bank also acts as a lender of last resort to the banking sector during times of financial crisis.

Most central banks also have supervisory and regulatory powers to ensure the solvency of member institutions, to prevent bank runs, and to discourage reckless or fraudulent behavior by member banks.

Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally independent from political interference. Still, limited control by the executive and legislative bodies exists.

At the most basic level, monetary policy involves establishing what form of currency the country may have, whether a fiat currency, gold-backed currency (disallowed for countries in the International Monetary Fund), currency board or a currency union.

When a country has its own national currency, this involves the issue of some form of standardized currency, which is essentially a form of promissory note: a promise to exchange the note for “money” under certain circumstances.

Historically, this was often a promise to exchange the money for precious metals in some fixed amount. Now, when many currencies are fiat money, the “promise to pay” consists of the promise to accept that currency to pay for taxes.

A central bank may use another country’s currency either directly in a currency union, or indirectly on a currency board.

In the latter case, exemplified by the Bulgarian National Bank, Hong Kong and Latvia (until 2014), the local currency is backed at a fixed rate by the central bank’s holdings of a foreign currency.

Similar to commercial banks, central banks hold assets (government bonds, foreign exchange, gold, and other financial assets) and incur liabilities (currency outstanding). Central banks create money by issuing interest-free currency notes and selling them to the public (government) in exchange for interest-bearing assets such as government bonds.

When a central bank wishes to purchase more bonds than their respective national governments make available, they may purchase private bonds or assets denominated in foreign currencies.

The European Central Bank remits its interest income to the central banks of the member countries of the European Union. The US Federal Reserve remits all its profits to the U.S. Treasury.

This income, derived from the power to issue currency, is referred to as seigniorage, and usually belongs to the national government.

The state-sanctioned power to create currency is called the Right of Issuance.

Throughout history there have been disagreements over this power, since whoever controls the creation of currency controls the seigniorage income.

The expression “monetary policy” may also refer more narrowly to the interest-rate targets and other active measures undertaken by the monetary authority.

High employment
Frictional unemployment is the time period between jobs when a worker is searching for, or transitioning from one job to another.

Unemployment beyond frictional unemployment is classified as unintended unemployment.

For example, structural unemployment is a form of unemployment resulting from a mismatch between demand in the labour market and the skills and locations of the workers seeking employment.

Macroeconomic policy generally aims to reduce unintended unemployment. Keynes labeled any jobs that would be created by a rise in wage-goods (i.e., a decrease in real-wages) as involuntary unemployment: Men are involuntarily unemployed if, in the event of a small rise in the price of wage-goods relatively to the money-wage, both the aggregate supply of labour willing to work for the current money-wage and the aggregate demand for it at that wage would be greater than the existing volume of employment.

Price stability
Inflation is defined either as the devaluation of a currency or equivalently the rise of prices relative to a currency.

Since inflation lowers real wages, Keynesians view inflation as the solution to involuntary unemployment. However, “unanticipated” inflation leads to lender losses as the real interest rate will be lower than expected.

Thus, Keynesian monetary policy aims for a steady rate of inflation. A publication from the Austrian School, The Case Against the Fed, argues that the efforts of the central banks to control inflation have been counterproductive.

Economic growth
Economic growth can be enhanced by investment in capital, such as more or better machinery.

A low interest rate implies that firms can borrow money to invest in their capital stock and pay less interest for it.

Lowering the interest is therefore considered to encourage economic growth and is often used to alleviate times of low economic growth.

On the other hand, raising the interest rate is often used in times of high economic growth as a contra-cyclical device to keep the economy from overheating and avoid market bubbles.

Further goals of monetary policy are stability of interest rates, of the financial market, and of the foreign exchange market.

Goals frequently cannot be separated from each other and often conflict. Costs must therefore be carefully weighed before policy implementation.



*** All quoted figures are as per the 11th. June, 2019 and are indicative only.

*** All quoted figures are as per the 11th. June, 2019

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