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Author:DiMartino, Danielle 

Journal Article
Fed confronts financial crisis by expanding its role as lender of last resort

The current recession has deepened because of shrinking credit flows from banks, nonbank lenders and securities markets. This contrasts with the early 1990s, when new bonds and commercial paper cushioned a bank credit crunch, and with the high-tech investment bust of the early 2000s, when steady bank lending lessened the impact of receding bond and equity finance markets. ; This time, breakdowns in key credit markets posed great risks to the financial system and the broader economy. The Federal Reserve responded with unprecedented measures, expanding its role as lender of last resort in an ...
Economic Letter , Volume 4

Journal Article
Made in Texas: the natural selection of manufacturing

Southwest Economy , Issue Jan , Pages 12-14, 16

Journal Article
The fallacy of a pain-free path to a healthy housing market

In the mid-1990s, the public policy goal of increasing the U.S. homeownership rate collided with a huge leap in financial innovation. Lenders shifted from originating and holding mortgages to originating and packaging them for sale to investors. These new financial products enabled millions of Americans who hadn?t previously qualified to buy a home to become owners. Housing construction boomed, reaching a postwar high?9.1 million homes were built between 2002 and 2006, a period when 5.6 million U.S. households were formed. ; The resulting oversupply of homes presents policymakers with a ...
Economic Letter , Volume 5

Journal Article
Foreclosures’ silver lining: they could restrain rent inflation

Rental inflation has surpassed historic levels despite a supply of housing that partly reflects a persistent inventory of foreclosed, vacant homes.
Economic Letter , Volume 8

Journal Article
From complacency to crisis: financial risk taking in the early 21st century

During the first half of this decade, the belief that new financial products would adequately shield investors from risk encouraged financial flows to less creditworthy households and businesses. By late 2006, U.S. financial markets were flashing warning signals of a potential financial crisis. ; In a sign that investors had become too complacent, risk premiums had all but vanished in junk bond and emerging-market interest rate spreads. Then, conditions changed abruptly. In the important and usually stable market for asset-backed commercial paper, premiums on three-month paper over Treasury ...
Economic Letter , Volume 2

Journal Article
Fed policy in the financial crisis: arresting the adverse feedback loop

An adverse feedback loop takes hold when a weakening financial system and a slowing economy feed off each other. A crisis or shock curtails lending, hobbling the real economy; the more production and employment falter, the more lending contracts. ; Arresting the adverse feedback loop could prove to be the seminal challenge of early 21st century monetary policymaking. Since sounding the alarm in January 2008, the Fed has taken a series of actions--many unprecedented--to prevent additional damage to financial markets and restore lending activity. These policies have had some success in ...
Economic Letter , Volume 4

Journal Article
The rise and fall of subprime mortgages

After booming the first half of this decade, U.S. housing activity has retrenched sharply. Single-family building permits have plunged 52 percent and existing-home sales have declined 30 percent since their September 2005 peaks. ; A rise in mortgage interest rates that began in the summer of 2005 contributed to the housing market's initial weakness. By late 2006, though, some signs pointed to renewed stability. They proved short-lived as loan-quality problems sparked a tightening of credit standards on mortgages, particularly for newer and riskier products. As lenders cut back, housing ...
Economic Letter , Volume 2

Journal Article
Fed intervention: managing moral hazard in financial crises

At the end of September 2008, U.S. policymakers had been working for more than a year to contain the shock waves from plunging home prices and the subsequent financial market turmoil. For the Federal Reserve, the crisis has given new meaning to the adage that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. The central bank has dusted off Depression-era powers and rewritten old rules to address serious risks to the global financial system.
Economic Letter , Volume 3

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