Skip to main content

What I Learned from: Profs. William English and Andrew Metrick on Central Banks and COVID

In this series, students reflect on talks by visiting speakers. Ayyappan Ravindran Nair ’21 shares his takeaways from a Yale Law School talk on central banking during the pandemic by Yale SOM’s William English and Andrew Metrick.

William English, professor in the practice of finance, and Andrew Metrick, the Janet L. Yellen Professor of Finance and Management, were the featured speakers in the Weil, Gotshal & Manges Roundtable Panel, titled “Central Bank and Corporate Board Responses to COVID-19,” hosted by the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law on April 23.

Ayyappan Ravindran Nair ’21, a student in the Master’s Degree in Systemic Risk program, shares his takeaways.

How these speakers enriched my Yale SOM experience

This event reinforced my belief that central banks can and should play a vital role in responding to systemic crises that threaten macroeconomic instability. The Federal Reserve’s response in mitigating the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that central banks, through countercyclical policies, if they react swiftly and forcefully, can ease financial conditions, improve credit flow, and support economic recovery. Listening to speakers who have deep and varied expertise on the subject gave me insights into the challenges central banks face in managing an economic crisis. As a central banker myself, this will help in making an impact on my job in terms of designing better policy responses when faced with a crisis in the future.

My biggest takeaway

The biggest takeaway from this event was the realization that central banks can make material differences in the economic welfare of citizens, even when dealing with the worst economic crisis that has no modern precedent. Central banks should act boldly and decisively—the event provided evidence that they can, and that they did, and the world economy is at a better place thanks to their actions.