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Nation & World

International forum: Don't expect cheap money to do it all

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Stocks have risen on expectation of more help from central banks, but an international financial forum warned Sunday that the global recovery can’t just rely on support from the likes of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to get past its current shaky stretch.

The admonition from the Bank for International Settlements comes as the Fed and the ECB are signaling that more stimulus could be on the way. That message from Fed chair Jay Powell and ECB head Mario Draghi has helped send stock higher in Europe and the S&P 500 in the U.S. to a record high.

The BIS is cautioning that governments need to bring other policies into the game – and that there are risks in relying too much on central bank stimulus such as cuts in interest rates and bond purchases that lower market borrowing costs. Those other policies include government spending where possible on growth-friendly infrastructure as well as pro-growth reforms such as slashing red tape for business.

“Monetary policy can no longer be the main engine of economic growth, and other policy drivers need to kick in to ensure the global economy achieves sustainable momentum,” the BIS said in its annual economic report.

BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens warned that while stimulus can help in the short run, it can have side effects further out such as over-inflating asset prices such as stocks and bonds, and feeding less productive zombie firms that wouldn’t survive without cheap borrowing.

Policymakers, he said, need “to be mindful of all those tradeoffs.”

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