Dual-currency economies as multiple-payment systems
Monetary search models are valuable for studying how a second currency's acceptability arises endogenously in an economy that lacks a stable domestic currency and other more sophisticated payment systems. Search models' basic assumptions (absence of credit, lack of smoothly functioning banking systems, reliance on currency as the sole medium of exchange, and primitive trading environments) are not necessarily consistent with modern financial systems. They do, however, provide good descriptions of transitional and developing economies, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union, ...
Federal Home Loan Bank lending to community banks: are targeted subsidies necessary?
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 extended the lending authority of Federal Home Loan Banks to include advances secured by small-enterprise loans of community financial institutions. The authors examine three possible reasons for the extension of this selective credit subsidy to community banks and thrifts, including the need to subsidize community depository institutions, stabilize the Federal Home Loan Banks, and address a market failure for small enterprise loans in rural banking markets. They use two empirical models to investigate whether funding constraints affect small-business ...
Are SBA loan guarantees desirable?
Over the last 10 years, the Small Business Administration has been responsible for well over $100 billion in small business credit extensions, more than any single private lender. This Commentary explores the motivations for such a large investment of taxpayer dollars.
The forecasting performance of German stock option densities
In this paper the authors estimate risk-neutral densities (RND) for the largest euro-area stock market (the index of which is the German DAX), reporting their statistical properties, and evaluating their forecasting performance. The authors have applied an innovative test procedure to a new, rich, and accurate data set. They have two main results. First, They have recorded strong negative skewness in the densities. Second, they find evidence for a significant difference between the actual density and the risk-neutral density, leading to the conclusion that market participants were surprised ...
Improving Epidemic Modeling with Networks
Many of the models used to track, forecast, and inform the response to epidemics such as COVID-19 assume that everyone has an equal chance of encountering those who are infected with a disease. But this assumption does not reflect the fact that individuals interact mostly within much narrower groups. We argue that incorporating a network perspective, which accounts for patterns of real-world interactions, into epidemiological models provides useful insights into the spread of infectious diseases.
Rethinking the welfare cost of inflation
New models of monetary economies, developed in the last 15 years, suggest that traditional measures of the welfare cost of inflation may underestimate the true loss that inflation inflicts on society. According to these models, the cost of 10 percent inflation ranges from 1 to 5 percent of real income.
Small-firm credit markets, SBA-guaranteed lending, and economic performance in low-income areas
SBA guaranteed-lending programs are one of many government-sponsored market interventions aimed at promoting small business. The rationale for providing SBA loan guarantees is often based on the argument that they reduce credit rationing in low-income markets for small business loans. In this paper we empirically test whether SBA-guaranteed lending has a greater impact on economic performance in low-income markets. Using local labor market employment rates as our measure of economic> performance, we find evidence consistent with this proposition. In particular, we find a positive and ...
Reforming the over-the-counter derivatives market: what’s to be gained?
While derivative financial instruments have made the hedging and exchange of risk more efficient, the recent crisis showed that they also pose a substantial threat to financial stability in times of systemic turmoil. Underlying much of this threat is the lack of transparent reporting in the over-the-counter market for these instruments. This Commentary discusses the advantages of one solution to the transparency proble: moving the settlement or trading of derivatives to exchanges or clearinghouses.
Bitcoin’s Decentralized Decision Structure
With the introduction of bitcoin, the world got not just a new currency, it also got evidence that a decentralized control structure could work in practice for institutional governance. This Commentary discusses the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized control structures by examining the features of the bitcoin payment system. We show that while the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network "democratizes" payments, it is not obvious that the approach increases the equity or efficiency of markets or that the costs of the decentralized control structure won?t ...