Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Calls for monetary policy rethink

Bank of England building
The monetary policy forum will provide a crosscheck on the MPC

Three former members of the Bank of England's rate-setting committee have urged the central bank to rethink its monetary policy.

Dr Deanne Julius, Sushil Wadhwani and Willem Buiter are all part of a new monetary policy forum, set up by Fathom Financial Consulting.

The forum is designed to scrutinise the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

The Bank drew criticism for failing to cut interest rates quickly enough when the credit crunch hit.

However, since October it has slashed rates from 5% to 1%.

Quantitative easing


The former MPC members are now urging the Bank to consider the use of quantitative easing - creating money to buy assets - as a tool for ensuring economic stability.

The Bank has already begun drawing from the Asset Purchase Facility - a government-authorised fund - to buy high-quality corporate debt and similar assets.

Dr DeAnne Julius told the BBC: "We are clearly at the end of monetary policy as we know it."

The launch of the new forum comes ahead of Wednesday's publication of the Bank of England's latest quarterly inflation report.

In the US, the Federal Reserve has already reduced interest rates to near zero and is expanding its purchase of assets.

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Nick Cosgrove speaks to Dr DeAnne Julius, one of the founders of the new forum

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