The global economy is on extended sick leave and central banks’ actions so far have failed to contain the contagion. Despite aggressive measures to provide liquidity to markets, big central banks — from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of Australia — have not managed to stop big falls in asset prices or to shore up investors’ confidence. In the process, they have exposed three fundamental limitations of monetary policy.

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This article was originally published in Financial Times.