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Author:Duffie, Darrell 

Discussion Paper
How the LIBOR Transition Affects the Supply of Revolving Credit

In the United States, most commercial and industrial (C&I) lending takes the form of revolving lines of credit, known as revolvers or credit lines. For decades, like other U.S. C&I loans, credit lines were typically indexed to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). However, since 2022, the U.S. and other developed-market economies have transitioned from credit-sensitive reference rates such as LIBOR to new risk-free rates, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). This post, based on a recent New York Fed Staff Report, explores how the provision of revolving credit is likely ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20230203

How Abundant Are Reserves? Evidence from the Wholesale Payment System

Before the era of large central bank balance sheets, banks relied on incoming payments to fund outgoing payments in order to conserve scarce liquidity. Even in the era of large central bank balance sheets, rather than funding payments with abundant reserve balances, we show that outgoing payments remain highly sensitive to incoming payments. By providing a window on liquidity constraints revealed by payment behavior, our results shed light on thresholds for the adequacy of reserve balances. Our findings are timely, given the ongoing shrinking of central bank balance sheets around the world in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1040

Market-Function Asset Purchases

This paper investigates the goals, costs, and benefits of official-sector purchases of government securities for the purpose of restoring market functionality. We explore the design of market-function purchase programs, including their communication, triggers, operational protocols, exit, and wind-down strategies. We further discuss whether, under some circumstances, fiscal buybacks might be a useful alternative or complement to central-bank market-function purchase programs, and how these buybacks could be funded. The use of fiscal buybacks to support market functionality can be aligned with ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1054

Policy perspectives on OTC derivatives market infrastructure

In the wake of the recent financial crisis, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives have been blamed for increasing systemic risk. Although OTC derivatives were not a central cause of the crisis, the complexity and limited transparency of the market reinforced the potential for excessive risk-taking, as regulators did not have a clear view into how OTC derivatives were being used. We discuss how the New York Fed and other regulators could improve weaknesses in the OTC derivatives market through stronger oversight and better regulatory incentives for infrastructure improvements to reduce ...
Staff Reports , Paper 424

Discussion Paper
What Quantity of Reserves Is Sufficient?

A concern of the Federal Reserve is how to manage its balance sheet and whether, over the long run, the balance sheet should be small or large. In this post, we highlight results from a recent paper in which we show how, even during a period of “ample” reserves, the Fed’s management of its balance sheet had material impacts on funding markets and especially the repo market. We argue that the Fed’s “balance-sheet normalization” from March 2017 to September 2019—under which aggregate reserves declined by more than $950 billion—combined with post-crisis liquidity regulations, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210929

Reserves Were Not So Ample After All

The Federal Reserve's “balance-sheet normalization,” which reduced aggregate reserves between 2017 and September 2019, increased repo rate distortions, the severity of rate spikes, and intraday payment timing stresses, culminating with a significant disruption in Treasury repo markets in mid-September 2019. We show that repo rates rose above efficient-market levels when the total reserve balances held at the Federal Reserve by the largest repo-active bank holding companies declined and that repo rate spikes are strongly associated with delayed intraday payments of reserves to these large ...
Staff Reports , Paper 974

A sampling-window approach to transactions-based Libor fixing

We examine the properties of a method for fixing Libor rates that is based on transactions data and multi-day sampling windows. The use of a sampling window may mitigate problems caused by thin transaction volumes in unsecured wholesale term funding markets. Using two partial data sets of loan transactions, we estimate how the use of different sampling windows could affect the statistical properties of Libor fixings at various maturities. Our methodology, which is based on a multiplicative estimate of sampling noise that avoids the need for interest rate data, uses only the timing and sizes ...
Staff Reports , Paper 596

Journal Article
Explaining the U.S. tri-party repo market

During the 2007-09 financial crisis, it became apparent that weaknesses existed in the design of the U.S. tri-party repo market that could rapidly elevate and propagate systemic risk. This article describes key mechanics of the market, focusing on two that have contributed to its weaknesses and impacted market reform efforts: the collateral allocation and ?unwind? processes. The authors explain that collateral allocation in the tri-party repo market involves considerable dealer intervention, which can slow settlement processing. The length of time required to allocate collateral has in fact ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 18 , Issue Nov , Pages 17-28

Bank Funding Risk, Reference Rates, and Credit Supply

Corporate credit lines are drawn more heavily when funding markets are more stressed. This covariance elevates expected bank funding costs. We show that credit supply is dampened by the associated debt-overhang cost to bank shareholders. Until 2022, this impact was reduced by linking the interest paid on lines to credit-sensitive reference rates such as LIBOR. We show that transition to risk-free reference rates may exacerbate this friction. The adverse impact on credit supply is offset if drawdowns are expected to be left on deposit at the same bank, which happened at some of the largest ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1042



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