Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Central Bank Balance Sheet Analysis

Bagus, Philipp and Howden, David (2016): Central Bank Balance Sheet Analysis. Published in: Betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis , Vol. 2, No. 68 (2016): pp. 109-125.

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Balance sheet analysis is standard practice for assessing private sector businesses. No such analysis has been applied to central banks previously. We provide the theoretical foundation and rationale for such analysis. This foundation is rooted in the quality theory of money which places special emphasis on subjective factors as a complement to the more conventional quantitative factors that determine money’s purchasing power. The balance sheet of a central bank reveals the quality of the assets backing a currency and serves as an indicator of future monetary policy. Several accounting ratios proxy the quality of money in terms of assets held by the central bank, alluding to potential shifts in its purchasing power. These ratios can also be used to estimate the scope of future monetary policies that are feasible by the central bank.

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