Can a fiscal contraction strengthen a currency?: Some doubts about conventional Mundell-Fleming results
This article demonstrates that a fiscal expansion can induce both a short- and long-run depreciation of a currency and, by parallel arguments, fiscal contraction can induce short- and long-run appreciation. This possibility hinges on a country being a debtor with at least some of its debt servicing costs reset periodically in response to changes in its domestic interest rates. In the simpler version of our model, we show that a fiscal expansion can lead to an instantaneous depreciation and a current account deficit, causing the currency to continue to depreciate over time. The current account ...
Determinants and impacts of sovereign credit ratings
In this article, we present the first systematic analysis of the sovereign credit ratings of the two leading agencies, Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P). We find that the ordering of risks they imply is broadly consistent with macroeconomic fundamentals. While the agencies cite a large number of criteria in their assignment of sovereign ratings, a regression using only eight factors explains more than 90 percent of the cross-sectional variation in the ratings. In particular, a country's rating appears largely determined by its per capita income, external debt burden, inflation experience, ...
The securities industry and the New York - New Jersey region
The author finds that the securities industry in the New York-New Jersey region, while vulnerable to stock and bond market fluctuations, is enjoying strong growth in employment and salaries. Benefits from future growth, however, will likely flow predominantly to highly skilled workers as rapid technological change continues to widen existing income differentials.
The credit rating industry
Investors and regulators have been increasing their reliance on the opinions of the credit rating agencies. This article shows that although the ratings provide accurate rank-orderings of default risk, the meaning of specific letter grades varies over time and across agencies. Noting that current regulations do not explicitly adjust for agency differences, the authors argue that a reassessment of the use of ratings and the adequacy of public oversight is overdue.
Effects of leverage on corporate investment and hiring decisions
Securitization, loan sales, and the credit slowdown
Household and business lending has slowed sharply in recent years, but the anemic growth in loans booked at depository institutions, mortgage companies, and finance companies may overstate the decline in credit originated by these institutions. This article reports measures of credit growth that include "off-balance-sheet lending"loans that were originated by intermediaries but are absent from their balance sheets because of direct loan sales or the issuance of asset-backed securities. The authors also compare the relative volume of off-balance-sheet lending by types of intermediaries.
Perspective on the credit slowdown