This paper defends the IMF's strategy of targeting base money (MO) in 1997-98 against the criticism by Grenville (2000) that it was destined to fail because MO is mainly demand determined and the demand for it was increased by a large and unpredictable amount by the banking panic. Grenville contends that Indonesian monetary policy should have aimed at domestic price stability. It is argued here that the growth of MO far exceeded what could be justified by last resort lending to accommodate the banking panic, and that rapid inflation could only have been avoided by preventing most of the expansion of the public's cash holding that actually occurred. Achieving a modest target for domestic inflation would not therefore have been very different in practice from setting tight limits on the growth of MO. In contrast, both these policies would have been very different from the loss of control over MO that actually occurred.
|Journal||Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|