Understanding monetary policy implementation
The Federal Reserve implements its monetary policy objectives by intervening in the interbank market for overnight loans. In particular, it aims to change the supply of reserves available to commercial banks so that the (average) interest rate in this market equals an announced target rate. A recent change in legislation will give the Federal Reserve greater flexibility in this process by allowing it to pay interest on reserve balances. Together, the change and recent events in financial markets have renewed interest in the process of monetary policy implementation. This article presents a ...
Reforming Money Market Mutual Funds: A Difficult Assignment
The money market mutual fund (MMMF) industry was one of many segments of the financial sector that experienced significant volatility during the 2007?08 financial crisis. Reform efforts have been underway to make the industry more resilient to shocks, but proposals have been controversial. This Economic Brief explores some of the key issues and sheds light on why reforming this industry has been so challenging.
Optimal policy with probabilistic equilibrium selection
This paper introduces an approach to the study of optimal government policy in economies characterized by a coordination problem and multiple equilibria. Such models are often criticized as not being useful for policy analysis because they fail to assign a unique prediction to each possible policy choice. We employ a selection mechanism that assigns, ex ante, a probability to each equilibrium indicating how likely it is to obtain. With this, the optimal policy is well defined. We show how such a mechanism can be derived as the natural result of an adaptive learning process. This approach ...
Interest on reserves and daylight credit
On the size distribution of banks
Large excess reserves in the U.S.: a view from the cross-section of banks
Bank reserves in the United States increased dramatically at the end of 2008. Subsequent asset purchase programs in 2009 and 2011 more than doubled the quantity of reserves outstanding. These events required major adjustments in banks' balance sheets. We study the evolution of reserve holdings across banks from the fall of 2008 until the middle of 2011 and document how banks' balance sheets changed concurrently. Motivated by the potential implications for monetary policy of operating with a high level of reserves, we focus particular attention on those banks which accumulated large quantities ...
Some recent trends in commercial banking
Optimal Banking Contracts and Financial Fragility
We study a finite-depositor version of the Diamond-Dybvig model of financial intermediation in which the bank and all depositors observe withdrawals as they occur. We derive the constrained efficient allocation of resources in closed form and show that this allocation provides liquidity insurance to depositors. The contractual arrangement that decentralizes this allocation resembles a standard bank deposit in that it has a demand able debt-like structure. When withdrawals are unusually high, however,depositors who withdraw relatively late experience significant losses. This contractual ...
Economic fundamentals and bank runs