Foreign exchange swaps
Foreign exchange swaps have appeared for some time in the intervention toolkit of many central banks around the world, although their popularity seems to be on the wane. In a Bank for International Settlements survey taken in 1997 (BIS 1997, p. 332), seven of fourteen industrial-country central banks surveyed listed foreign exchange swaps against either the U.S. dollar or the deutsche mark (or both) among the tools used to conduct open market intervention. Of those seven, five-Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands-discontinued foreign exchange operations when they became part ...
Monetary policy in pre-ECB Italy
In 1979, Italy entered into the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) as a founding member of the European Monetary System. After that date, the country's monetary policy was geared toward the maintenance of exchange rate stability against its ERM partners, despite a number of exchange parity realignments and with the exception of the period from September 1992 to November 1996. The strength of the ERM commitment was not uniform over time, either in terms of amplitude of the fluctuation band or in terms of frequency of realignment of bilateral parities. Despite this variability, however, changes in ...
Money market integration
We use transaction-level data and detailed modeling of the high-frequency behavior of federal funds-Eurodollar yield spreads to provide evidence of strong integration between the federal funds and Eurodollar markets, the two core components of the dollar money market. Our results contrast with previous research indicating that these two markets are segmented, showing them to be well integrated even at high (intraday) frequency. We document several patterns in the behavior of federal funds-Eurodollar spreads, including liquidity effects from trading volume on yield spreads' volatility. Our ...
Capital account liberalization as a signal
This paper presents a model in which a government's current capital controls policy signals future policies. Controls on capital outflows evolve in response to news on technology, contingent on government attitudes toward taxation of capital. When there is uncertainty over government types, a policy of liberal capital outflows sends a positive signal that may trigger a capital inflow. This prediction is consistent with the experience of several countries that have recently liberalized their capital accounts.
Settlement delays in the money market
We track 38,000 money market trades from execution to delivery and return to provide a first empirical analysis of settlement delays in financial markets. In line with predictions from recent models showing that financial claims are settled strategically, we document a tendency by lenders to delay delivery of loaned funds until the afternoon hours. We find that banks follow a simple strategy to manage the risk of account overdrafts - delaying the settlement of large payments relative to that of small payments. More sophisticated strategies, such as increasing settlement delays when own liquid ...
The overnight interbank market: evidence from the G-7 and the Euro zone
This study of the major industrial countries' interbank markets for overnight loans links the behavior of very short-term interest rates to the operating procedures of the countries' central banks. Previous studies have focused on key features of the U.S. federal funds rate's behavior. We find that many of these features are not robust to changes in institutional details and in the style of central bank intervention, along both cross-sectional and time-series dimensions of our data. Our results suggest that the empirical features of the day-to-day behavior of short-term interest rates are ...
Banks' reserve management, transaction costs, and the timing of the Federal Reserve intervention
We use daily data on bank reserves and overnight interest rates to document a striking pattern in the high-frequency behavior of the U.S. market for federal funds: depository institutions tend to hold more reserves during the last few days of each "reserve maintenance period," when the opportunity cost of holding reserves is typically highest. We then propose and analyze a model of the federal funds market where uncertain liquidity flows and transaction costs induce banks to delay trading and to bid up interest rates at the end of each maintenance period. In this context, the central bank's ...
Are exchange rates excessively volatile? And what does \\"excessively volatile\\" mean, anyway?
Using data for the major currencies from 1973 to 1994, we apply recent tests of asset price volatility to reexamine whether exchange rates have been "excessively" volatile with respect to the predictions of the monetary model of the exchange rate and of standard extensions that allow for sticky prices, sluggish money adjustment, and time-varying risk premia. Consistent with previous evidence from regression-based tests, most of the models that we examine are rejected by our volatility-based tests. In general, however, we find that exchange rates have not been excessively volatile relative ...
Day-to-day monetary policy and the volatility of the federal funds interest rate
We propose a model of the interbank money market with an explicit role for central bank intervention and periodic reserve requirements, and study the interaction of profit-maximizing banks with a central bank targeting interest rates at high frequency. The model yields predictions on biweekly patterns of the federal funds rate's volatility and on its response to changes in target rates and in intervention procedures, such as those implemented by the Fed in 1994. Theoretical results are consistent with empirical patterns of interest rate volatility in the U.S. market for federal funds.
When liberal policies reflect external shocks, what do we learn?
We present a model where policies of free capital mobility can signal governments' future policies, but the informativeness of the signal depends on the path of world interest rates. Capital flows to "emerging markets" reflect investors' perception of these markets' political risk. With low world interest rates, emerging markets experience a capital inflow and engage in a widespread policy of free capital mobility, whereas others impose controls to trap capital onshore, thus signaling future policies affecting capital mobility. These predictions are consistent with the recent experience of ...