The Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility
As liquidity conditions in the term funding markets grew increasingly strained in late 2007, the Federal Reserve began making funds available directly to banks through a new tool, the Term Auction Facility (TAF). The TAF provides term funding on a collateralized basis, at interest rates and amounts set by auction. The facility is designed to improve liquidity by making it easier for sound institutions to borrow when the markets are not operating efficiently.
AUTHORS: Krieger, Sandra C.; McAndrews, James J.; Armantier, Olivier
An overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations
The authors present an overview of the New York Fed?s Survey of Consumer Expectations, a monthly online survey of a rotating panel of household heads. The survey collects timely information on respondents? expectations and decisions on a broad variety of topics, including inflation, household finance, the labor market, and the housing market. It has three main goals: (1) measuring consumer expectations at a high frequency, (2) understanding how these expectations are formed, and (3) investigating the link between expectations and behavior. The authors discuss the origins of the survey, the questionnaire design, the implementation of the survey and the sample, and the computation of the various statistics released every month. They conclude with a discussion of how the results are disseminated and how the (micro) data may be accessed on the New York?s Fed?s Center for Microeconomic Data.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Armantier, Olivier; Topa, Giorgio
Changes in the timing distribution of Fedwire funds transfers
The Federal Reserve's Fedwire funds transfer service - the biggest large-value payments system in the United States - has long displayed a peak of activity in the late afternoon. Theory suggests that the concentration of late-afternoon Fedwire activity reflects coordination among participating banks to reduce liquidity costs, delay costs, and credit risk; as these costs and risk change over time, payment timing most likely will be affected. This article seeks to quantify how the changing environment in which Fedwire operates has affected the timing of payment value transferred within the system between 1998 and 2006. It finds that the peak of the timing distribution has become more concentrated, has shifted to later in the day, and has actually divided into two peaks. The authors suggest that these trends can be explained by a rise in the value of payments transferred over Fedwire, the settlement patterns of the private settlement institutions that use the system, and an increase in industry concentration. Although the study's results provide no specific evidence of heightened operational risk attributable to activity occurring later in the day, they point to a high level of interaction between Fedwire and private settlement institutions.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; McAndrews, James J.; Arnold, Jeffrey
Challenges in identifying interbank loans
Although interbank lending markets play a key role in the financial system, the lack of disaggregated data often makes the analysis of these markets difficult. To address this problem, recent academic papers focusing on unsecured loans of central bank reserves have employed an algorithm in an effort to identify individual transactions that are federal funds loans. The accuracy of the algorithm, however, is not known. The authors of this study conduct a formal test with U.S. data and find that the rate of false positives produced by one of these algorithms is on average 81 percent; the rate of false negatives is 23 percent. These results raise concerns about the information content of the algorithm's output.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; Copeland, Adam
What Is Driving the Recent Rise in Consumer Inflation Expectations?
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers (the ?Michigan Survey? hereafter) is the main source of information regarding consumers? expectations of future inflation in the United States. The most recent release of the Michigan Survey on March 25 drew considerable attention because it showed a large spike in year-ahead expectations for inflation: as shown in the chart below, the median rose from 3.4 to 4.6 percent and the other quartiles of responses showed similar increases. What may have caused this rise in inflation expectations and what lessons should be taken from it? In this post, we draw upon the findings of an ongoing New York Fed research project to shed some light on the possible sources of the recent increase and to gauge its significance. While our research spans both short- and medium-term inflation expectations, this blog post discusses movements in short-term measures only and does not discuss medium-term expectations.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Topa, Giorgio; Zafar, Basit
Inflation Expectations and Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act on Their Beliefs?
Surveys of consumers? inflation expectations are now a key component of monetary policy. To date, however, little work has been done on 1) whether individual consumers act on their beliefs about future inflation, and 2) whether the inflation expectations elicited by these surveys are actually informative about the respondents? beliefs. In this post, we report on a new study by Armantier, Bruine de Bruin, Topa, van der Klaauw, and Zafar (2010) that investigates these two issues by comparing consumers? survey-based inflation expectations with their behavior in a financially incentivized experiment. We find that the decisions of survey respondents are generally consistent with their stated inflation beliefs.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Armantier, Olivier; Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert
Is There Stigma to Discount Window Borrowing?
The Federal Reserve employs the discount window (DW) to provide funding to fundamentally solvent but illiquid banks (see the March 30 post ?Why Do Central Banks Have Discount Windows??). Historically, however, there has been a low level of DW use by banks, even when they are faced with severe liquidity shortages, raising the possibility of a stigma attached to DW borrowing. If DW stigma exists, it is likely to inhibit the Fed?s ability to act as lender of last resort and prod banks to turn to more expensive sources of financing when they can least afford it. In this post, we provide evidence that during the recent financial crisis banks were willing to pay higher interest rates in order to avoid going to the DW, a pattern of behavior consistent with stigma.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier; Shrader, Jeffrey; Sarkar, Asani; Ghysels, Eric
Nudging Inflation Expectations: An Experiment
Managing consumers? inflation expectations is of critical importance to central banks in the conduct of monetary policy. But managing inflation expectations requires more than just monitoring expectations; it also requires an understanding of how these expectations are formed. In this post, we present results from a new study that investigates how individual consumers use selected information on food prices in forming their inflation expectations. While the provision of this information leads individuals to meaningfully revise expectations of their own-basket inflation rate, we find there is little impact on expectations of overall inflation.
AUTHORS: Zafar, Basit; Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Nelson, Scott; Armantier, Olivier
A “Reference Price Auction” to Buy or Sell Different Assets Simultaneously
In finance, auctions are often conducted to buy or sell simultaneously various assets with very different characteristics. These auctions raise a number of challenges that cannot always be addressed with standard auction designs. In this post, I discuss an alternative design?the ?reference price auction??and present evidence that it may dominate other methods often implemented in practice.
AUTHORS: Armantier, Olivier
Introducing the FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations: Measuring Price Inflation Expectations
In this second of a series of four blog postings, we discuss the data on inflationexpectationscollected in our new FRBNY Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Inflation expectations are a key consideration for monetary policy as they are believed to influence consumer behavior, thereby affecting economic activity and actual inflation. The SCE data on inflation expectations represent a major innovation as they contain information not previously collected from consumers on a regular basis. In this post, we provide some background on the survey and presentsome initial findings.
AUTHORS: Topa, Giorgio; Van der Klaauw, Wilbert; Zafar, Basit; Armantier, Olivier