Bank of Jamaica uses reggae to explain its monetary policy and investors dance to the tunes…

Move over RBNZ which for long has had the tag of being the coolest central bank around for the number of things it has pioneered.

Now, Central Bank of Jamaica has upped the coolness quotient by several notches. It has been using reggae music to communicate benefits of its inflation targeting to the Jamaicans: video 1, video 2, video 3. You immediately switch to singing Buffalo Soldier…

The music with stability in the economy has led to the island becoming a darling of international investors:

The best-performing stock market in 2018 was an unlikely contender — and better known for its beaches than its economy.  The Jamaican Stock Exchange sits on the waterfront in Kingston and has surged more than 300% over the last five years. Last year, the main index tracking the country’s stock exchange rose 29%. 

Economic numbers are not the only things coming out of Jamaica that have garnered global attention. The Central Bank of Jamaica has become something of a viral sensation online by using the reggae music that the island is famous for to communicate monetary policy. Consider a band’s take on the importance of keeping prices under control and predictable:“Low and stable inflation is to the economy what the bass line is to reggae music!” the singer belts out.

Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s finance minister, said no one anticipated the videos to receive as much attention as they did, but he was pleased with the effectiveness. “It’s very important to communicate to the Jamaican people in the best way possible,” he said. “When you’re in Jamaica, whether you’re communicating about a glass of juice or beer or you’re communicating complex monetary policy, music helps the communication effort.

On the Bloomberg podcast “What’d You Miss This Week,” Scarlet Fu, Joe Wiesenthal, Caroline Hyde and Romaine Bostick spoke with Clarke about this streak of success. He credited a series of fiscal and monetary reforms the country has taken “Jamaica is emerging from a period of high debt and low growth over a long period of time,” he said. “Now we’re seeing growth at a level of 2%, and we’ve had 16 consecutive quarters of economic growth, the longest such stretch of quarterly growth since we started measuring.” That success for Jamaica has not stopped in 2019. In January, Fitch upgraded the island’s debt to a B+ rating with a stable fiscal outlook.


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