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Author:Christensen, Jens H. E. 

Journal Article
Yield Curve Responses to Introducing Negative Policy Rates

Given the low level of interest rates in many developed economies, negative interest rates could become an important policy tool for fighting future economic downturns. Because of this, it?s important to carefully examine evidence from economies whose central banks have already deployed such policies. Analyzing financial market reactions to the introduction of negative interest rates shows that the entire yield curve for government bonds in those economies tends to shift lower. This suggests that negative rates may be an effective monetary policy tool to help ease financial conditions.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Extracting deflation probability forecasts from Treasury yields

We construct probability forecasts for episodes of price deflation (i.e., a falling price level) using yields on nominal and real U.S. Treasury bonds. The deflation probability forecasts identify two "deflation scares" during the past decade: a mild one following the 2001 recession, and a more serious one starting in late 2008 with the deepening of the financial crisis. The estimated deflation probabilities are generally consistent with those from macroeconomic models and surveys of professional forecasters, but they also provide highfrequency insight into the views of financial market ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2011-10

Journal Article
Assessing supervisory scenarios for interest rate risk

A new proposal by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision for setting the amount of capital banks must hold against potential losses from interest rate risk uses only a few, very stylized scenarios. Analysis shows the proposed scenarios are extremely unlikely to occur. While they may be appropriate for setting bank capital guidelines, they are much less relevant for everyday risk management. Instead, using a modeling framework with a plausible range of interest rate scenarios would be more relevant to help banks manage their interest rate risk.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Assessing expectations of monetary policy

An ongoing concern has been that the public might misconstrue the Fed?s forward guidance about future monetary policy and underappreciate the extent to which short-term interest rates may vary with future news about the economy. Evidence based on surveys, market expectations, and model estimates show that the public seems to expect a more accommodative policy than Federal Open Market Committee participants. The public also may be less uncertain about these forecasts than policymakers.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Accounting for Low Long-Term Interest Rates: Evidence from Canada

In recent decades, long-term interest rates around the world have fallen to historic lows. We examine this decline using a dynamic term structure model of Canadian nominal and real yields with adjustments for term, liquidity, and inflation risk premiums. Canada provides a useful case study that has been little examined despite its established indexed debt market, negligible distortions from monetary quantitative easing or the zero lower bound, and no sovereign credit risk. We find that since 2000, the steady-state real interest rate has fallen by more than 2 percentage points, long-term ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-35

Working Paper
The affine arbitrage-free class of Nelson-Siegel term structure models

We derive the class of arbitrage-free affine dynamic term structure models that approximate the widely-used Nelson-Siegel yield-curve specification. Our theoretical analysis relates this new class of models to the canonical representation of the three-factor arbitrage-free affine model. Our empirical analysis shows that imposing the Nelson-Siegel structure on this canonical representation greatly improves its empirical tractability; furthermore, we find that improvements in predictive performance are achieved from the imposition of absence of arbitrage.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2007-20

Working Paper
The TIPS Liquidity Premium

We introduce a new arbitrage-free term structure model of nominal and real yields that accounts for liquidity risk in Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS). The novel feature of our model is to identify liquidity risk directly from individual TIPS prices by accounting for the tendency that TIPS, like most fixed-income securities, go into buy-and-hold investors? portfolios as time passes. We find a sizable and countercyclical TIPS liquidity premium, which greatly helps our model in matching TIPS prices. Accounting for liquidity risk also improves the model?s ability to forecast ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2017-11

Journal Article
Internal risk models and the estimation of default probabilities

A major advancement in risk management among large financial institutions has been the development of internal risk models. The models encompass institutions' procedures and techniques for assessing portfolio risk. Commercial bank regulators in the U.S. and abroad have recognized that these "state of the art" risk-management tools provided a framework for addressing important shortfalls of current capital regulations. To that end, a key component of the new rules for bank capital regulation developed under the Basel II agreement allows for banks' internal risk-management systems to be part of ...
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Inflation expectations and the risk of deflation

Predicting the course of inflation is one of the most important challenges facing monetary policymakers. Useful aids to such prediction are the measures of expected future inflation obtained from prices in government bond markets. An examination of recent inflation-indexed and non-indexed U.S. Treasury bond yields suggests that financial market participants believe that the probability of prolonged deflation has become fairly small.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Do Fed TIPS purchases affect market liquidity?

The second round of Federal Reserve large-scale asset purchases, from November 2010 to June 2011, included regular purchases of Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS. An analysis of liquidity premiums indicates that the functioning of the TIPS market and the related inflation swap market improved both on the days the Fed purchased TIPS and over the course of the LSAP program. Thus, TIPS purchases had liquidity benefits beyond the effect they may have had in reducing Treasury yields.
FRBSF Economic Letter

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