In-depth: have central banks worsened the secular slowdown?

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The decline in neutral rates is “not directly affected” by Federal Reserve policy, chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers in November testimony. Powell’s statement reflects a broad consensus among central bankers. But not everyone agrees.

An economist from the International Monetary Fund, Bas Bakker, argues that instead, the decline in neutral rates (often known as r*) may very well be a direct result of central bank policy.

If correct, his orthodoxy-busting paper may provide novel answers to key

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