The paper addresses some important dilemmas and factors determining the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB). According to the author, in the coming years the ECB's monetary policy will to a large extent depend on how the ongoing financial crisis affects Europe and the world at large. At this point, it is too early to offer an evaluation of how this policy may change. The article attempts to answer a number of questions related to the ECB's monetary policy. One question is whether or not an evaluation of the effects of the bank's policy should take into account some general institutional frameworks. Second, did the ECB do the right thing adopting a specific strategy for its monetary policy? Third, to what extent has the Taylor rule proved to be useful in the assessment of the restrictiveness of the ECB's monetary policy? The Taylor rule, proposed by U.S. economist John B. Taylor in 1993, is a rule that stipulates how much the central bank should change the nominal interest rate in response to divergences of actual GDP from potential GDP and of actual inflation rates from target inflation rates. According to the author, the effects of the ECB's policy should be clearly differentiated from the effects of the Economic and Monetary Union as a whole. Second, the notion of 'ECB policy' is broader than the term 'monetary policy' with regard to the European Central Bank. Third, it is necessary to draw a distinction between various types of monetary policy depending on their scope. The paper also discusses the latest research on the institutional environment of monetary policy and focuses on selected disputed issues involving the monetary policy strategy adopted by the ECB.
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