Monetary and financial stability challenges to central banks in the wake of Covid-19

Virtual BIS–SARB Centenary Conference, 20-22 October 2021

The SARB and the BIS have teamed up to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the SARB with a high-level conference, in which central bank Governors and senior officials, as well as a group of experts from academia, will participate. The conference will be held virtually on 20–22 October 2021.

The theme of the conference is "Policy challenges after the pandemic", and it aims to explore some of the main challenges central banks and macroeconomic policymakers are facing in the wake of Covid-19. Each of the three sessions will feature a lead presentation and two discussants. The conference will close with a Governors' panel, which will be livestreamed.

The pandemic has tested monetary and fiscal policy frameworks. Central banks globally have been able to relax monetary and financial policies to buffer the shock, and in many cases used unconventional policies and new instruments. As the global recovery progresses, inflation emerges and the pandemic presents setbacks to growth, central banks will be challenged to conduct a steady withdrawal of monetary accommodation.  In some economies, this process is underway.  Public debt levels have risen sharply as governments ramped up spending to offset economic costs of the pandemic and to provide the needed health care support.  The pandemic and the recovery phase also presents challenges to financial stability, in terms of weakened financial systems and the potential for the resumption of high-risk financial cycles.

Programme (all times are in CEST)

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Welcome and opening remarks

  • Lesetja Kganyago (Governor, SARB)
  • Agustín Carstens (General Manager, BIS)

Session 1: Monetary policy: the way forward and lessons from the crisis

  • Chair: Claudio Borio (Head, Monetary and Economic Department, BIS)
  • Lead speaker: Raghuram Rajan (Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
  • Discussant: Ricardo Reis (Professor, London School of Economics)
  • Discussant: Lucrezia Reichlin (Professor, London Business School)

Thursday, 21 October

Session 2: Fiscal support to the recovery and longer-term challenges

  • Chair: Kuben Naidoo (Deputy Governor, SARB)
  • Lead speaker: Carmen Reinhart (Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank)
  • Discussant: Stan du Plessis (Professor, Stellenbosch University)
  • Discussant: Ugo Panizza (Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva)

Friday, 22 October

Session 3: Not a financial crisis: revisiting old and new risks to financial stability in the recovery

  • Chair: Fundi Tshazibana (Deputy Governor, SARB)
  • Lead speaker: Hyun Song Shin (Economic Adviser and Head of Research, BIS)
  • Discusant: Laura Alfaro (Professor, Harvard Business School)
  • Discussant: Lemma Senbet (Professor, University of Maryland Robert H Smith School of Business)

Session 4: Monetary and financial stability challenges to central banks in the wake of Covid-19, a panel discussion

  • Chair: Francine Lacqua (Anchor, Bloomberg)
  • Panellist: Lesetja Kganyago (Governor, SARB)
  • Panellist: Agustín Carstens (General Manager, BIS)
  • Panellist: Jerome H Powell (Chair, United States Federal Reserve Board)