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Author:Bech, Morten L. 

Report
Illiquidity in the interbank payment system following wide-scale disruptions

We show how the interbank payment system can become illiquid following wide-scale disruptions. Two forces are at play in such disruptions-operational problems and changes in participants' behavior. We model the interbank payment system as an n-player game and utilize the concept of a potential function to describe the process by which one of multiple equilibria emerges after a wide-scale disruption. If the disruption is large enough, hits a key geographic area, or hits a "too-big-to-fail" participant, then the coordination of payment processing can break down, and central bank intervention ...
Staff Reports , Paper 239

Working Paper
The Federal Home Loan Bank System: the lender of next-to-last resort?

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System is a large, complex, and understudied government-sponsored liquidity facility that currently has more than $1 trillion in secured loans outstanding, mostly to commercial banks and thrifts. This paper first documents the significant role played by the FHLB System at the outset of the ongoing financial crisis and then provides evidence about the uses of these funds by their bank and thrift members. We then identify the trade-offs faced by FHLB member-borrowers when choosing between accessing the FHLB System or the Federal Reserve's discount window during ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2009-04

Journal Article
Profits and balance sheet developments at U.S. commercial banks in 2008

Reviews recent developments in the balance sheets and in the profitability of U.S. commercial banks. The article discusses how developments in the U.S. banking industry in 2008 and early 2009 were related to changes in financial markets and in the broader economy.
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 95 , Issue 6

Report
Technology diffusion within central banking: the case of real-time gross settlement

We examine the diffusion of real-time gross settlement (RTGS) technology across all 174 central banks. RTGS reduces settlement risk and facilitates financial innovation in the settlement of foreign exchange trades. In 1985, only three central banks had implemented RTGS systems, and by year-end 2005, that number had increased to ninety. We find that the RTGS diffusion process is consistent with the standard S-curve prediction. Real GDP per capita, the relative price of capital, and trade patterns explain a significant part of the cross-country variation in RTGS adoption. These determinants are ...
Staff Reports , Paper 260

Working Paper
The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market

To combat the financial crisis that intensified in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve injected a substantial amount of liquidity into the banking system. The resulting increase in reserve balances exerted downward price pressure in the federal funds market, and the effective federal funds rate began to deviate from the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. In response, the Federal Reserve revised its operational framework for implementing monetary policy and began to pay interest on reserve balances in an attempt to provide a floor for the federal funds rate. Nevertheless, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-07

Journal Article
Global trends in large-value payments

Globalization and technological innovation are two major forces affecting the financial system and its infrastructure. Perhaps nowhere are these trends more apparent than in the internationalization and automation of payments. While the effects of globalization and technological innovation are most obvious on retail payments, the influence is equally impressive on wholesale, or interbank, payments. Given the importance of payments and settlement systems to the smooth operation and resiliency of the financial system, it is important to understand the potential consequences of these ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 14 , Issue Sep , Pages 59-81

Journal Article
Settlement liquidity and monetary policy implementation—lessons from the financial crisis

The U.S. dollar clearing and settlement system received little attention during the recent financial crisis, mainly because it performed reliably, processing record volumes and values of trades made in stressed financial markets. This article shows how Federal Reserve policy measures aimed at providing liquidity and stability to the financial system during and after the crisis had a major impact on settlement liquidity and thus on the efficiency of clearing and settlement system activity. The measures led to a substantial decrease in daylight overdrafts extended by the Federal Reserve and a ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 18 , Issue Mar , Pages 3-20

Report
Which bank is the \\"central\\" bank? an application of Markov theory to the Canadian Large Value Transfer System

Recently, economists have argued that a bank's importance within the financial system depends not only on its individual characteristics but also on its position within the banking network. A bank is deemed to be "central" if, based on our network analysis, it is predicted to hold the most liquidity. In this paper, we use a method similar to Google's PageRank procedure to rank banks in the Canadian Large Value Transfer System (LVTS). In doing so, we obtain estimates of the payment processing speeds for the individual banks. These differences in processing speeds are essential for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 356

Discussion Paper
How the High Level of Reserves Benefits the Payment System

Since October 2008, the Federal Reserve has increased the size of its balance sheet by lending to financial intermediaries and purchasing assets on a large scale. While these actions have increased the amount of reserves in the U.S. banking system and therefore raised concerns about excessive bank lending and inflation, we can document an important and overlooked benefit of the high level of reserves: a significantly earlier settlement of payments on Fedwire, the Federal Reserve’s large-value payment system. Quicker settlement on Fedwire improves liquidity throughout the economy, reducing ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20120227

Report
The mechanics of a graceful exit: interest on reserves and segmentation in the federal funds market

To combat the financial crisis that intensified in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve injected a substantial amount of liquidity into the banking system. The resulting increase in reserve balances exerted downward price pressure in the federal funds market, and the effective federal funds rate began to deviate from the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee. In response, the Federal Reserve revised its operational framework for implementing monetary policy and began to pay interest on reserve balances in an attempt to provide a floor for the federal funds rate. Nevertheless, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 416

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