As hard as policymakers have sought to assure markets that they stand at the ready when conditions weaken, lack of a consistent voice has only spurred weakness, according to an analysis released Monday.
Emerging market economies are in turmoil as the Federal Reserve and its counterparts around the world look to unwind all the largesse of the past four-plus years.
Though economists are almost universally dismissing the impact of these smaller countries on U.S. growth, Wall Street is clearly on its heels after the worst January in years, and recent economic data show the recovery remains uneven at best.
A paper from Citigroup suggests that one of the reasons for economic turmoil—in developed as well as emerging markets—is because policymakers haven't figured out how to properly use the tools at their disposal.
(Read more: Art Cashin: Why stocks are getting slammed)